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Air Defense Force Organization

Air Defense Force structurally consist of 3 Corps, deployed correspondingly in Lviv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovs'k. The Force HQ is located in Kyiv. A total of 48,000 men are in Air Defense service. The Force is armed with Air Defense complexes S-75; S-125, S-200, S-300. It also includes Fighter Aviation.

The Air Defence is composed of anti-aircraft missile, fighter aviation and radar troops, which are the branches of the Air Defence, and also liason forces and special components, elements of logistics and military educational institutions. The total strength of the Air Defence is over 35,000.

The Air Defence of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was created on the base of formations, units and elements, which were deployed in Ukraine by the time of declaration of the Ukrainian independence.

The Air Defence of the Armed Forces of Ukraine consisted of the following branches:

Surface-to Air Missile Forces (SAM) are intended to provide the air defense of Ukraine in cooperation with other branches of the Armed Forces. SAM forces are equipped with different types of anti-aircraft missile (AAM) complexes highly capable to intercept modern air targets of wide range of altitude and speed under any weather conditions and 24 hours per day. The development of SAM forces means the increase of their mobility in order to create the concentration of SAM forces of enough combat power on the dangerous direction under conditions of SAM force reduction and incapability to provide the equal defense on all directions before the aggression starts. The basic equipment of SAM forces are: high range AAM complex S-200, modern multi-channel AAM system S-300 of different modifications and AAM complex "BUK"

Radar Troops are intended to conduct constant air space radar observation and to provide combat operations of SAM forces and fighter aviation. Radar troops are equipped with modern radar sets capable to detect air targets on high spectrum of their distances and altitudes, to determine their exact coordinates and to provide target designation for SAM forces and fighter aviation 24 hours per day under any weather and electronic countermeasures (ECM) conditions. The retrofitting of existing radar sets from analogue to digital signal processing is conducted. It will increase their capabilities and also enable to connect these radar sets to automatic control system, which is being created on principles of modern computerized local networks with usage of new personal computers.

Fighter Aviation is intended to intercept and destroy enemy air targets on maximum approaches from friendly defended objects. The use of high combat capabilities of the Fighter Aviation during shot-term maneuver on another airspace directions and conduct of combat operations on high range approaches exerts essential influence upon increase of Air Defence capabilities to repel an enemy air strike. The Air Defence Fighter Aviation consisted of: one fighter aviation wing equipped with MiG-29s and L-39s and one separate transport aviation squadron equipped with An-26s and Mi-8s.

Special Forces, Units, Institutions and Elements of Logistics and Maintenance, Military Educational Institutions are intended to provide combat activity of formations, units and elements of Air Defence branches.

The primary high military educational institution of the Air Defence is the Kharkiv Military University which was founded in August, 1993 in order to train high qualified specialists for the Air Defence, Army Air Defense, Rocket and Artillery forces and chemical warfare (CW) troops. Nowadays the Kharkiv Military University is a multiple-discipline high military educational institution and big research center which provides students with high quality basic training, high common education, skills of scientific research. The Kharkiv Military University provides training of military specialists from a soldier's level to an officer's level of operative tactical training.

The training of officers for high scientific specialties of the Armed Forces, other ministries and departments of Ukraine is held in the University. Graduates of the University obtains high military operative tactical education and qualification "master's degree - - military control officer - specialist of operative tactical level", high military special education and qualification "bachelor - military control officer-specialist of tactical level". In 2000 the Lyceum of intensive physical fitness training was founded as a branch of the University and the first admission of pupils of Lyceum was done. The preparation of the material and technical basis of the Lyceum is about to be completed.

The teaching staff of the University is over 800 men including staff of the scientific centers, who are lecturers, 91 Doctors of Science, professors and 586 Candidates of Science, assistant professors. The training of the teaching staff is conducted in doctoranture and adjuncture of the University. The training of Doctors and Candidates of Science is organized in over 40 scientific schools, which have been created for decades and headed by leading scientists. The military University supports scientific, teaching and methodical links with leading educational institutions, scientific establishments and organizations of Ukraine and countries of CIS. The training process in the University is tightly connected with combat activity of military troops.

By 2000 the problem of Air Force's consolidation with the Air Defense Force was "overmatured", and the General Staff is currently considering ways to settle that problem, the First Deputy Chief of General Staff Lieutenant-General Mykola Palchuk said, speaking in an interview with CACDS. There are different viewpoints on that problem both at the Defense Ministry and the General Staff, the General said, indicating that "the Ukrainian Fighting Forces inherited from the Soviet Army two branches of aviation forces - the air force and the air defense force." An attempt to consolidate the two branches of the service was already made in 1993, "as a result of which we obtained yet another controlling body that proved unable to effectively control either the air force or the air defense force," General Palchuk said. According to the General, the Army Building and Development Program for the Period of up to the Year 2005 calls for a "further consideration of that matter as well as for measures to pave the ground for such a consolidation."

"A consolidation is only possible on condition there is an integrated automated control system and appropriate [financial and material] support for such a consolidation, which is simply impossible to provide in the present-day conditions," the First Deputy Chief of General Staff underscored. Asked whether the consolidation would adversely affect control of the services in case of hostilities, the General said the two arms work together in practically all training exercises, which gives hope that control of the two branches of the service would further remain effective.

The commander of Great Britain's Royal Air Forces, Air Chief Marshal Jock Stirrup, visited Ukraine in January 2004. Stirrup will hold meetings with the leadership of the Ukrainian armed forces, representatives of the Ukrainian parliament's committee for national security and defense, and the leadership of the main command of the Ukrainian Air Force. During the meetings, the two sides will exchange views on the existing systems of training air force specialists, the state of Ukraine's cooperation with the member-countries of NATO, reform of the Ukrainian defense sector, and prospects for creating a single Ukrainian armed forces on the basis of the air Force and the Air defense Force.

In early 2005, the armed forces of Ukraine have moved to a "trividovu" structure Army, Navy and Air Force. The main purpose of the establishment of this new type was determined by increasing the level of effectiveness of the tasks inherent in both military - Air Forces, and Air Defence Forces - by eliminating duplicative controls the overall process of protecting domestic airspace. It should be noted that the creation of the air force did not become a mechanical merger of two previously existing types of Armed Forces of Ukraine. It was primarily driven by the desire of military-political leadership of the country to raise the level of effectiveness of protection of air space to a new, better level.

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Page last modified: 08-03-2014 18:36:25 ZULU