The New Stuff

Ukrainian military aviation: the results of 2018

Receiving of aircrafts and helicopters. Testing new aviation weapons.

It is known that during 2018 Ukrainian aviation brigades received after repair and modernization on plants in Lviv, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia, Chuguiv at least:

7 MiG-29, in particular 4 MiG-29MU1 and 1 MiG-29UB; 5 Su-27, in particular 1 Su-27UB; 3 Su-25M1; 1 Su-24MR; 4 L-39/M1; 2 An-26; 1 IL-76MD.

It is worth noting that in 2018, probably a record number of MiG-29 – 7 fighters was repaired.

Relative to the number of repaired helicopters, no information is available. It is known about the receiving in december 2018 to the Armed Forces of Ukraine 1 Mi-8MSB-V and 1 Mi-8MT and helicopters of the electronic warfare Mi-8MTPB, Mi-8MTPI. Some number of Mi-24P, Mi-8MT, Mi-8MSB-V, Mi-2MSB was received by the aviation brigades.

In June 2018, the 10th Separate Naval Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Navy received the helicopter Ka-226, which was previously owned by the State emergency service of Ukraine, but was not used for a long time.  In December 2018 Ka-226 has returned to service after long waiting times at ground.

On August  29, 2018 the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has concluded a contract with «Airbus Helicopters» to supply 55 helicopters, among which 21 used H-225, 10 new Н-145 and 24 new Н-125.

The first two H-225 arrived in Ukraine on December 20, 2018.

In 2018 at the Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant the modernization of the MiG-29MU2 began. In 2019, he must begin flight tests. Modernization of Su-24MR continued in Odessa. In addition, the start of work on the second version of the modernization of the Su-27 was reported.

During the year tests were conducted uncontrolled missiles RS-80 «Oskol», practical tests of the Mi-8MSB-B helicopter equipped with the PM-LKT module during a firing controlled anti-tank missile from the «Barrier-V» missile complex.

Due to Russia aggression in 2014, Ukraine lost several planes and helicopters in battle, which is why it is now actively repairing and modernization its aviation to protect yourself from Russia.

Training, preparation and international cooperation.

In June 2018, the Rivne proving ground hosted traditional Ukraine Army Aviation competitions for the title of best crew, couples and units. Practically used glasses of night vision, all available types of weapons (guided and unmanaged missiles, bombs, guns) were used.

During the period from 04 to 16 June 2018, 5 Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aircrafts were based in Lviv Danylo Halytskyi International Airport. It was reported that the KC-135 deployment to Ukraine is a part of U.S. strategy to defend European Allies, enhance security in Eastern Europe and increase the level of military understanding between Allies and partners. Basing tankers in western Ukraine also meets an operational training requirement allowing the United States and partner nations to further integrate capabilities, enhance interoperability, and ensure the security and stability of the region.

In August 2018, the mountain training of MI-8 helicopters crews in the National Guard of Ukraine took place in the Ivano-Frankivsk region. During the time of the collection, aviators improved flight skills in the mountains of the Carpathians and worked out landings and raids on high-altitude grounds with a height of 1000 to 1500 meters.

In September 2018, flight military training of tactical aviation brigades were conducted on the airfield of Kulbakino and Voznesensk, during which the launch of  air-to-air missiles on light aircraft SAB-500 and bombing were carried out. It should be noted that cadets of the graduation course of the flight faculty of the Ivan Kozhedub Kharkiv University of Air Force were involved in the training and launched missiles and bombing.

Also in September 2018, the «Cossack Volition-2018» strategic command-staff exercises continued, which involved Ukraine Army Aviation and practically all Air Force brigades of tactical and transport aviation.

In October, the «Clear Sky 2018» multinational exercises took place with the participation of  Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, United States and Ukraine.

The event will be held from October 8 to October 19 and the venue is primarily at Starokostiantyniv Air Base, Ukraine, as well as other training areas and ranges in the region.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of collaboration between the California Air National Guard and Ukraine as part of U.S. European Command’s State Partnership Program, and this exercise will include robust participation of California ANG units. Aircraft from California units will include F-15C Eagles and a C-130J Super Hercules. Other U.S. aircraft participating in the exercise will include an F-15D from the 48th Fighter Wing, KC-135s from the Illinois ANG and the 100th Air Refueling Wing, and MQ-9s operating out of Miroslawiec AB, Poland. The Pennsylvania ANG will provide Joint Terminal Attack Controller instructors, and several additional units from California, Maryland, Ohio, New York, Alaska, Washington and bases in Europe are also scheduled to participate. Training will focus on air sovereignty, air interdiction, air-to-ground integration, air mobility operations, aeromedical evacuation, cyber defense, and personnel recovery.

F-16 fighters from Romania and Poland were also involved in the exercises.

The Ukrainian side was represented by aircraft Su-24M/MR, Su-25, Su-27, Mig-29, An-26 and Mi-8 helicopters.

During the year traditionally continued training of cadets of the 5th course of the flight faculty of the Ivan Kozhedub Kharkiv University of Air Force on MiG-29, Su-25 and Su-27 combat aircraft.

In 2018, flight training of cadets was organized at 14 airfields, 7 types of aircrafts and 3 types of helicopters. The cadets completed complex aerobatics and performed practical launches of guided missiles in the afternoon and bombing.

It should be noted that over the course of the year, crews of helicopters and planes were regularly involved in the exercises of the Ukrainian Armed Force units. Also, helicopters were involved in medical evacuation from the United forces operation in eastern Ukraine and continued their mission in UN peacekeeping missions, in particular, on July 31, the Mi-24 helicopters in Congo destroyed a militant camp located in high mountains.

When preparing Ukrainian pilots pay special attention to flights at low altitude, so as not to be shot down by Russian SAM.

Regarding international cooperation, in the spring of 2018, we had a 10-year joint Ukrainian-Danish operation “Northern Falkon-2018″ on the transportation of fuel and other items from the US Air Force Base in Tule to the North Station in Greenland. This time, 718588 liters of fuel were transported in special interior tanks of the IL-76MD and over 25 tons another items. Ukrainian pilots flew about 100 hours during the operation.

In June-September 2018, the Ukrainian Su-27 fighters and transport planes An-26, IL-76MD took part in the international airshows in Denmark (Danish Air Show 2018), England (RIAT 2018), Poland (Radom Airshow 2018), Czech Republic (CIAF 2018), Belgium (Belgian Air Force Day 2018).

On August 24, 2018, Ukrainian planes and helicopters, for the first time after a long break, took part in the aviation parade on the Independence Day of Ukraine. Above Kyiv flew Mi-8, Mi-14, An-26, An-178, Il-76MD, Su-24M/MR, Su-25, Su-27, MiG-29.

On September 08, 2018, a Su-27UB made aerobatics at the Kharkiv-AVIAFest-2018 festival at the Korotych airfield.

In early 2018, 39 Separate air squadrons from Ozerne airbase were transformed into 39 Tactical aviation brigades.

In September 2018, a relocation of 204 Tactical aviation brigades to Lutsk took place. The construction of dormitories for personnel has been started at the Lutsk airfield, and work on the restoration of warehouses auxiliary structures is underway. Aircrafts of  brigade continues combat alienation in southern Ukraine. The very redeployment caused a lot of social and domestic problems, and the duty at the operational airfield  in southern Ukraine has further worsened the situation.

Until 2014, the brigade was based on the Belbek airfield in Crimea. Due to Russian aggression, the brigade was temporarily forced to stay at the Kulbakino airfield and restore their combat capability. (9 MiG-29 of 204 TABr Russia did not return from the Crimea).

In 2018, the runway of the airfield Kryvyi Rih was restored and a ground field airfield at the State Testing Ground “Yagorlik” was built.

Ukrainian museums

In 2018 Ukrainian museums in Poltava and Pervomaysk receive some aircrafts.

At the end of the year, the Museum of Heavy Bomber Aviation in Poltava received the MiG-27K and MiG-21SM. It is also expected on MiG-23MLD, MiG-23UB and Su-17M4.

In addition, the Museum of Strategic Missile Forces near the city of Pervomaysk was received the MiG-21UM.  It is also expected on  MiG-23MLD, MiG-23UB and Su-17UM3.

The above-mentioned aircrafts got to the museums from the Odessa aviation plant.

In addition, is being solved the issue of transfer to Oleg Antonov State Aviation Museum in Kyiv An-12 from Lviv.


Unfortunately, 2018 did not do without losses in personnel and aircraft.

On October 16, 2018, during the “Clear Sky 2018” exercises, during a familiarization flight, a Su-27UB №70 from the 831 Tactical aviation brigade was crashed. Crew, consisting of colonel Ivan Petrenko and lieutenant colonel Seth “Jetro” Nering, was died.

On December 15, 2018, when performing a training flight to maintain skills, when approaching in the conditions of the established minimum of weather, a Su-27 № 55 from the 39 Tactical aviation brigade was crashed. Pilot major Oleksander Fomenko died.

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