Tajik Air Force

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Air Force of Tajikistan
Tajikistan roundel.svg
Roundel of the Tajikistan Air Force
Active 2006 - present
Country  Tajikistan
Branch Air force
Role Defense of Tajikistan
Size One squadron
Garrison/HQ Dushanbe
Colors Green
Engagements Tajik civil war

The Air Force is the aerial military service branch of the armed forces of Tajikistan. It is currently a small branch, consisting of 20 aircraft. It takes part in search and rescue, transportation, and raids on opposition groups.

History

Throughout the 1990s, the military did not have an air force and relied on the Russian Air Force for air defense, however, the government planned on making one aviation squadron. In 2007, the Air Force had 800 troops and 12 helicopters. The organizational structure of the Air Force is unknown. Tajik airspace is patrolled by the Russian Air Force.

The Tajik Air Force remains small as Dushanbe doesn't expect an attack on Tajikistan from the air and that Russian Air Force units at Gissar in Tajikistan and other such Russian contingents in Kazakhstan would deter any such assault. The country is also patrolled by Russian aircraft as part of the Joint CIS Air Defense System. The air force is mostly used for search and rescue missions, transportation, and the occasional attack on militant groups.

For funding, the government relied upon modest foreign funds. In February 2013, a 20th anniversary parade occurred in Dushanbe, celebrating the creation of the armed forces. During the parade, 20 helicopters flew over the city. India made a deal in which the Tajik and Russian Air Forces share an air base. The base is commanded jointly by Indian, Tajik, and Russian personnel, who rotate units there periodically.[1]

Because of the civil war, air force development was slow. The first equipment to arrive was 10 MI-8MTBs and 5 MI-24 in 1993 based at Dushanbe. The first transport aircraft were AN-24s(?) and AN-26s(?) were supplied in 1996. A plan from the 1990s to acquire SU-25s from Belarus to form an attack squadron did not occur. Moscow bolstered the Tajik's helicopter contingents in 2006-07 by giving them six Mil Mi-8 and Mil Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters. It also provided four L-39 Albatros.

An accident occurred on 6 October 2010 when a Mi-8, military helicopter from the Presidential National Guard crashed in the Rasht Valley[2] close to Ezgand and Tavildara. The helicopter got caught in some power lines while attempting to land. The helicopter caught fire and crashed without survivors. This is the deadliest accident in Tajik aviation since 1997.

Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[3] Notes
Mil Mi-24 Hind  Soviet Union attack Mi-24 4[3]
Mil Mi-8 Hip  Soviet Union transport Mi-8 11[3]
Tupolev Tu-134 Crusty  Soviet Union VIP Tu-134A 1[3]
L-39 Albatros  Czechoslovakia trainer/Light ground-attack L-39C 4[3] former Russian[4]

References

  1. John Pike. "Tajikistan- Air Force". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2013-09-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Richard Kebabjian. "Accident Details". PlaneCrashInfo.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 John Pike (2013-05-21). "Tajikistan Air Force - Equipment". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2013-09-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Janes Sentinel: Tajikistan Air Force". Janes.com. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-22. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>