Azerbaijan Air Force
The Azerbaijani air force [Azerbaycan Herbi Hava Quvveler] operates under the auspices of the country's army. In 1994 estimated total troop strength had reached 56,000, of which 49,000 were in the army, 3,000 in the navy, 2,000 in the air force, and 2,000 in the air defense forces. The air force had forty-eight combat aircraft, and one helicopter squadron. Initially, much of the equipment and command and control systems were taken over from the former 19th Independent Air Defense Army, with only marginal upgrades to the network since independence.
In 1997, the Azerbaijani Higher Military School of Military Aviation began the release of our first national military aircraft. Thus, a significant portion of the defense money spent in Azerbaijan since 2005 has been spent on the revival of the Air Force and TMAC.
At present, pilots of the Azerbaijani Air Forces are considered to be the most successful pilots in the CIS. Azerbaijani pilots are mainly trained at the Azerbaijan Higher Military Aviation School and conduct relevant training courses and trainings in Turkey, Ukraine, the US and other countries. In accordance with the 2019 combat readiness plan approved by the Minister of Defense, tactical special training of Air Defense Forces (TDF) units and units of the Azerbaijani Air Force was held in April 2019. According to the report from the Ministry of Defense, during the training, the radar units were deployed to the designated areas.
All military vehicles of the Azerbaijani Army were suspended due to the crash of the MiG-29 fighter belonging to the Azerbaijani Air Force. The head of the press service of the Ministry of Defense, Colonel Vagif Dargahli said that the leadership of the Ministry gave appropriate instructions. According to him, all flights of the Azerbaijani Air Force have been temporarily suspended until the cause of the MiG-29 fighter crash has been determined: "At the same time, the duty of fighting is in accordance with the plan." On 24 July 2019, at about 22:00, the Air Force MiG-29, which had night-time training flights, was cut off from the radar and the aircraft disappeared from the radar. Predictably, military aircraft crashed in the Caspian Sea as a result of an aviation accident.
Nasosnaya has been informally proposed several times as a potential Cooperative Security Location (CSL) or supplemental refueling/logistics point. The Foreign Minister resurrected the idea of cost-sharing needed improvements to the base in a 23 November 2009 meeting. The United States has already funded Western- standard upgrades to navigational and safety-of-flight infrastructure at the base as part of Azerbaijan's IPAP process. The goal of the upgrade project is to bring the field, with its 2,500x40 meter runway up to ICAO Category I (Note: Category I is the least demanding of the three ICAO categories for airfields certified for operation under instrument flight rules.
Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe GEN Roger Brady, USAF visited Baku on 08 December 2009, meeting with Defense Minister Gen-Col. Safar Abiyev and visiting the nearby Nasosnaya Air Base. At his uncharacteristically brief meeting with GEN Brady, Minister Abiyev did not revisit the issue of GOAJ clearance for U.S. assessments of Azerbaijani army units for a potential Train and Equip Program (TEP) for an Afghanistan mission, nor of Azerbaijani airfields for expanded OEF logistics cooperation. Instead, he recited a formula deferring to the Foreign Ministry and launched into his well-worn catalog of complaints about U.S. and NATO inattention to Azerbaijan's needs and U.S. favoritism toward Armenia, and fenced verbally with GEN Brady when the latter defended the U.S. record.
In January 2020 , the media reported that Armenia has used its two-purpose Su-30SM fighter jet from Russia and the Tor-M2KM anti-aircraft missile complex to allegedly strengthen its armament and have virtually any target, including air defense systems in Azerbaijan. Colonel Ogtay Badalov, a retired longtime service officer in the Azerbaijani Air Forces, estimated the dangers posed by Armenia for Azerbaijan. The Su-30SM fighters still have problems with the avionics and navigation system and even have limited resources for the AL-31F. According to Armenian sources, the main threat posed by the Su-30SM against Azerbaijan's air defense is the use of guided air-to-ground and radar anti-aircraft missiles (X-29, X- 31 and X-58, X-59 class rockets). But the fact that the military operating theater has a complex mountainous terrain does not allow the Su-30SM fighter to approach the target at low altitude and not to be seen by Azerbaijani air defense systems. Both aircraft and helicopters of the Azerbaijani Air Force have aviation destruction vehicles capable of destroying the "Tor-M2KM" anti-aircraft missile complex (ZRK) in Armenia without being covered. Why Armenia didn't get modern high-tech Su-35, Su-57 and Pantsir S1M weapons. The answer is simple - Armenia has acquired weapons that the manufacturer's country no longer needs.
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