Czechoslovakia Table of Contents
The Czechoslovak Air Force (Ceskoslovenske letectvo) is tactical in nature; that is, its mission is to support the ground forces and air defense of the country. As of 1987, Czechoslovakia had no counterpart to the Long-Range Air Force of the Soviet Union. Air force personnel in 1987 numbered approximately 56,000. The ratio of career personnel to conscripts was about two to one.
The Czechoslovak Air Force was organized into two air armies. The 7th Air Army was headquartered in Prague and possessed an underground facility in Cerny Vrch; the 10th Air Army was stationed in Hradec Kralove. The air armies consisted of four air divisions with a total of fourteen regiments. The air force possessed twenty-two military airfields and fourteen reserve military airfields (see fig. 17). Four of the military airfields- -Mimon, Mlade, Olomouc, and Sliac--were used by the Soviet air force. Six of the reserve military airfields were used for civil aviation.
In 1987 the air force possessed 465 combat aircraft and about 40 armed helicopters. Of the four fighter-ground attack regiments, one consisted of fifty Su-7BM/Us, one of forty MiG23Ms , one of thirty MiG-21/21 Us, and one of twenty-five Su-25 aircraft. Six interceptor regiments possessed 275 MiG-21, MiG-21 U, and MiG-23 jet aircraft, half of which were used for air defense and half for battlefield support. In early 1987 the Czechoslovak Air Force apparently had recently received one squadron of the most up-to-date MiG-23 BuM fighter bombers.
The reconnaissance regiment flew twenty MiG-21RFs, ten Su22s , and fifteen Aero L-29s. The two transport regiments had at their disposal two An-12s, six An-24s, forty IL-14s (undergoing replacement by An-26s), one Tu-134, and two let L-410 Ms. The one helicopter regiment consisted of three independent squadrons, which together possessed forty mil Mi-24 attack helicopters, sixty-five Mi-8 and sixty Mi-4 medium transport helicopters, and fifty-five Mi-2 and twenty Mi-1 light transport helicopters. The Czechoslovak Air Force used Z-43 aircraft for liaison purposes.
The Czechoslovak air defense system comprised a command headquarters, with 3 divisions consisting of 6 SAM regiments possessing some 40 sites and 250 SA-2/3 missiles. The system included aircraft detection and surveillance stations and antiaircraft artillery units. Most of the SAM sites were located strategically along the border with West Germany. Antiaircraft artillery units are used for defense against low-flying targets.
Data as of August 1987