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Voronezh / Baltimor Airfield

Baltimore is a military airfield in Voronezh. The former name was Voronezh-B. Airfield "Baltimore" was created in 1953, though the origins of this name seem to have been lost. For half a century, residential buildings have actually surrounded a military facility. Voronezh airbase, Voronezh oblast, was under Joint Force West Command and home to 105 Combined Aviation Division, 455 Combined Air Regiment. The 7000th airbase was formed from the 47th separate guards Shatalovsky reconnaissance aviation regiment (Smolensk region), as well as the bomber aviation regiment stationed in Voronezh, a separate long-range reconnaissance air squadron and the air division control. Today, the base includes reconnaissance and bomber squadrons, an aviation detachment and support units, 14 airfields: in the Voronezh region, Kaliningrad, in the Arctic and other points of the country.

The military air base in Voronezh celebrated its 70th anniversary on 15 August 2011. The holiday was timed to coincide with the Air Force Day and the anniversary of the 7000th Guards Aviation Borisov, Pomeranian, twice Red Banner, Order of Suvorov base, the "head" structures of which are located in Voronezh. Guests flocked to the Baltimore airfield, usually closed to civilians, from the very morning: old people and young couples, on foot and in cars, on bicycles and wheelchairs - for disabled people and children. Everyone was able to view samples of aircraft and ground handling equipment in service: Su-24 bomber, MiG-25 and An-30 reconnaissance aircraft, Su-27, Su-33 and MiG-29 fighters, MiG-31 interceptor and Mi helicopters -8. People lined up to get into the cockpits of the most "photogenic" planes, and as props begged for caps, caps and berets from the military who were on duty nearby.

The citizens of Voronezh were especially impressed by the air show. Aces from DOSAAF demonstrated aerobatics on sports planes Yak-52 and Yak-55, and the curious strove to break through the cordon to the runway to see "vertical barrels" and "Nesterov's loops" directly above them. The pilot of the private helicopter "Robertson" (the car often appears over the Voronezh reservoir) indulged the audience, thirsty for thrills. He waltzed in the air and, pretending to dive into the crowd, received applause. In the lower echelons, motor hang-gliders and noisy aircraft models competed for the attention of the audience, paratroopers tumbled overhead - despite the intense heat, the townspeople spent several hours at the airfield, without showing the displeasure that is usually colored by talk about "Baltimore".

The fact is that the site, which was once outside the Voronezh line, now adjoins directly to residential buildings. Nearby are dacha cooperatives, formed in Soviet times, the "Tenisty" microdistrict, new high-rise buildings. Until recently, the military airfield was poorly used. The city authorities, as can be judged by the general plan and the direction of modern development, expected to "master" this territory over time. However, the Ministry of Defense suddenly embarked on a course towards creating a large aviation center in Voronezh, and flights from Baltimore became frequent. Local activists have been complaining for several years, demanding that the airfield be moved outside the city limits: the noise level is often higher than permissible, and in general residents consider the proximity to a military facility potentially dangerous.

The development of the 7000th base continued, and by the end of the year 2011, the construction of a military town was to begin near Baltimore, and the military educational and scientific center "Air Force Academy named after Professor N. Ye. Zhukovsky and Yu. A. Gagarin" is still planned to be transferred here from Monino near Moscow. Thus, the Voronezh Military Aviation Engineering University (which has already absorbed the Irkutsk Military Aviation School) will receive another reinforcement, and the city will train personnel for the Air Force of all specialties: engineering and technical personnel, and operational-tactical, and flight.

According to the draft master plan for the development of Voronezh, a residential complex was to be built on the site of the airfield by 2020. Therefore, the news that several flight regiments will be redeployed to the "Baltimore", a second runway was to be built and the number of combat aircraft will triple, caused a wave of protest among the townspeople.

Voronezh airfield "Baltimore" will not become one of the largest air bases in Russia. Air Force Commander Viktor Bondarev announced the return to the "one airfield - one air regiment" basing system in December 2012. Thus, instead of the 200 aircraft that were supposed to be based on the Baltimore, only 40 will remain. The official announcement coincided with a visit to Voronezh by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is now reviewing projects for reforming the armed forces proposed by his predecessor, Anatoly Serdyukov. The concept of creating eight large air bases, on which it was planned to concentrate the main forces of the Air Force, will not be implemented. Experts believe that ex-Defense Minister Serdyukov planned to enlarge airbases to reduce the cost of the Air Force. Now, on the contrary, the airfield network will be expanded.

“In the near future, it is planned to carry out the complete construction and reconstruction of more than 20 airfields of the Air Force,” said Air Force Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bondarev in his statement. At the same time, it was planned to bring artificial surfaces at 10 airfields in line with the airfield engineering units of the Air Force in the near future. That is, the Air Force was talking about the modernization of not only eight airfields, which were going to be made airbases, but about the modernization of the entire network.

The cancellation of the construction of a large air base located within the city of Voronezh can, to some extent, be considered a victory for the public, which for several years has been actively opposing the expansion of Baltimore, organizing rallies and throwing numerous complaints at various authorities, including loud noise from working aircraft engines.

Perhaps news of the cancellation of the Baltimore expansion will ease the social tensions that arose several years ago. Recall that the initiative group of the Soviet District opposed the creation of a large air base in the vicinity of high-rise buildings and private houses, insisting that living with the airfield is dangerous to health and is associated with a risk to life. After the transfer of several air regiments to Voronezh, people began to complain about the noise that occurs during takeoff and landing of aircraft, and the deterioration of the environment. Defending the right to a comfortable and safe life, people more than once went to protest actions and even sued the Ministry of Defense for the complete liquidation of Baltimore, but they lost.

The military, in unofficial conversations, say that "this city is advancing on the airfield, and not vice versa." This is the construction of residential neighborhoods, which the leadership of Voronezh once allowed near the military airfield. It was expected that the reconstruction of the airfield would begin in 2012, but due to the flooding in the Kuban, where the military base that required restoration is located, the work was postponed to 2013. In addition, the initial project was reduced, the TTZ was altered, the work on the project documentation was carried out "from scratch."

Su-34 bombers on 25 November 2013 landed for the first time at the Buturlinovka airfield in the Voronezh region, Colonel Oleg Kochetkov, head of the press service of the Western Military District, told reporters. "Experts of the Voronezh air base have completed the preparation of the Buturlinovka airfield to receive new aircraft," he said, adding that the Su-34 crews are planning to conduct flights with landing at this airfield on November 26.

According to Kochetkov, the flight crew had already previously flown around the airfield. "At the moment, radio communications, lighting equipment, radar landing systems, radio-technical systems for short-range navigation are deployed at the Buturlinovka airfield. Ground equipment intended for servicing aircraft and preparing aviation equipment is ready for departure," Kochetkov quoted the commander of the ZVO air base, Colonel Vitaly Shkolenko.

Russia’s Su-34 multi-purpose bomber aircraft fleet from Syria returned to an air base near Voronezh. The first group of multipurpose fighter-bomber Su-34 returned from Syria on 15 March 2016, the Russian Defense Ministry said. "Before landing, the aircraft passed over the airfield in the parade ranks air at low altitude, and then performed aerobatics" Dissolution", the Russian MoD press service told the media.

The Su-34 ultra-precise bombers will strengthen Russian borders. In October 2020, Voronezh will redeploy an air regiment with these vehicles, sources in the Ministry of Defense told Izvestia. The military unit will be based at Baltimore Airfield. The airbase underwent a radical modernization: all facilities were demolished and rebuilt. Now there is all the necessary infrastructure, built shelters for aircraft and warehouses for precision weapons. From here, the Su-34 will be able to operate in the west and south of Russia, they will also strengthen the Russian grouping in Crimea, the Caucasus and the Black Sea, experts say.

The 47th mixed air regiment armed with Su-34 bombers will be relocated to Voronezh. Previously, the military unit was stationed at Buturlinovka airfield. It is noteworthy that it used to be based in Voronezh, but was withdrawn from there a few years earlier. Anymen Sibrov, the head of the Air Force Academy, which is also in Voronezh, said that in addition to the 47th regiment, two training squadrons of the university will return to the airfield.

"The Su-34 is suitable for any theater of war - it has very good characteristics in terms of range, there is the possibility of refueling in the air," former commander of the 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army, Lieutenant General Valery Gorbenko, told Izvestia. "In a sense, this aircraft is an extension of the Su-24, but with advanced capabilities and more modern technologies. It is a new generation of front-line bomber that can operate in any direction. Planes stationed in Voronezh can be used in the western and north-west directions, and if necessary - to strengthen the grouping on the Black Sea, in Crimea or the Caucasus, the expert added.

The airfield with the unusual name "Baltimore" for Russia is located in the Soviet district of Voronezh, just five kilometers from the city center. It was equipped in the 1930s under the name "Voronezh-B." During the large-scale reconstruction, which began in 2013, costing more than 9 billion rubles, the project was changed several times. Initially, it was assumed that there would be a huge base for two hundred aircraft. To do this, it was planned to build a second runway and significantly expand parking for aircraft. But already in the process of reconstruction, the Ministry of Defense refused the idea of concentrating all aviation on eight such bases. The change of the project and the liquidation in 2016 of the general contractor of the construction site - the Russian Special Forces - delayed the completion of the reconstruction of the airfield.

The largest investment required the creation of a new extended-range runway directly next to the old one. The strip is 3.6 thousand meters long and is made of high-strength reinforced concrete. Characteristics allow to take on it not only fully loaded Su-34, but also heavier aircraft.

After the reconstruction of the airbase by 2023-2024, it was planned to complete the construction of a modern residential town for pilots and their families, as well as barracks and carpools for auxiliary units. The 47th Mixed Air Regiment traces its history to the bombing regiment with the same number. It was the first combat unit to receive a serial Su-34. However, the characteristics of the runway in Buturlinovka did not allow its aircraft to be used in the option of full loading and refueling, which reduced the combat capabilities of the vehicles. The upgraded Baltimore has no such restrictions.

On the Change.org website, in March 2020 a Voronezh resident Sergei Chernukhin created a petition in which he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to relocate the Baltimore military airfield outside the capital of the Black Earth Region. He believes that such changes will help the city "develop intensively."

Explaining his proposal, the man said that the object not only interferes with the development of Voronezh, but is also dangerous for a number of reasons. First, "the take-off and landing course on the west side is over residential areas." Proceeding from this, as Chernukhin writes, "the possibility of an emergency cannot be ruled out." Secondly, speaking on this topic, the Voronezh resident noted that "during one of the forest fires, the flame almost reached the arsenal storage facilities." Thirdly, the man said that "the noise of the working jet engines exceeds all permissible standards day and night." And finally, the citizen wrote that "any military object is a potential and primary target for the enemy in the event of a large-scale confrontation."

Speaking about the reasons for the relocation of the airfield, Sergei Chernukhin proposed the following: "to complete the concrete cover of the drainage and drainage network with treatment facilities, and then transfer everything to the city with the obligation to maintain the condition of the constructed facilities." As an example, he cited the international airport "Voronezh", which is currently located in the Ramonsky district. A resident of the capital of the Chernozem region noted that once this object was transferred from one place to another.

"The runway and taxiways can be converted into avenues, the inner working area of the airfield into parks and squares, and residential and commercial quarters can be established at a small distance from the side of the runway. The course parts of the strip must be left free of tall buildings at a distance of up to 500-1000 meters, so that in the event of full mobilization, an aviation or other military base can be quickly deployed ... " Sergey Chernukhin writes in a petition.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:22:38 ZULU