Russian Naval Aviation
The Russian Naval Aviation (Russian: Авиация Военно-морского флота России, tr. Aviatsiya Voenno-morskovo Flota Rossii) is the air arm of the Russian Navy, having superseded Soviet Naval Aviation. The Russian Navy is divided into four fleets and one flotilla: Northern Fleet, Pacific Ocean Fleet, Baltic Fleet, Black Sea Fleet, and Caspian Flotilla.
|Авиация Военно-морского флота|
Aviatsiya Voenno-morskovo Flota
Russian Naval Aviation
28,000 personnel (2014)|
Approx. 359+ aircraft
|Major-General Igor Kozhin|
|Major-General Timur Apakidze|
The air forces of the most important fleets, the Northern and Pacific fleets, operate long range Tu-142 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft and Il-38 medium-range ASW aircraft. Formations operating supersonic Tu-22M3 bombers were transferred to the Russian Air Force's Long Range Aviation in 2011. The relatively small fleets, the Baltic and Black Sea, currently have only tactical Su-24 bombers and ASW helicopters in service. The small Caspian Flotilla operates An-26 and Mi-8 transports, Ka-27PS rescue helicopters, as well as some Ka-29 and Mi-24 armed helicopters. In 2011, the Russian Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief for Naval Aviation and Air Defense/Commander, Naval Air and Air Defense Forces is Major General Igor Kozhin.
Structure and OrganisationEdit
The 100th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment (Military Unit Number 45782) was formed at Saki in the Crimea on 10 March 1986. In January 1992 its personnel refused to take the oath of loyalty to Ukraine, which would have presumably made them part of the Ukrainian Navy or Ukrainian Air Force, and instead its personnel left for Russia, leaving their aircraft and equipment behind. The unit regrouped at Severomorsk-3 as part of the Northern Fleet. However, in February 1993 the regiment was disbanded and its personnel and equipment incorporated into the 279th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment.
The 279th Independent Shipborne Assault Aviation Regiment was established in 1973. In 1990 it became a Maritime Assault Aviation Regiment. On 22 February 1993 it was renamed the 279th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment as it absorbed the remaining elements of the 100th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment.
Structure in 2007Edit
This is the structure of the Russian Naval Aviation, as reproduced from the August 2007 issue of the Air Forces Monthly. Given the new data from 2015-16 about the two shipborne fighter aviation regiments above, the 100th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment, listed at Severomorsk-3 with the MiG-29K, has been removed from the Northern Fleet listing.
- 924th Independent Maritime Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment – HQ at Olenegorsk/Olenya - Tu-22M3;
- 279th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment – HQ at Severomorsk-3 - Su-25UTG, Su-33;
- 73rd Independent Air Squadron – HQ at Kipelovo (Fedotovo) - Tu-142MK, Tu-142MR;
- 403rd Independent Mixed Aviation Regiment – HQ at Severomorsk-1 - An-12, An-26, Il-38, Tu-134;
- 830th Independent Shipborne Anti-Submarine Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Severomorsk-1 - Ka-27;
- 568th Independent Composite Aviation Regiment – HQ at Mongokhto - operating Tu-22M3, Tu-142MR/MZ;
- 865th Interceptor Aviation Regiment – HQ at Yelizovo-Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport - MiG-31;
- 317th Composite Air Regiment – HQ at Yelizovo - Tu-142;
- 71st Independent Military Transport Air Squadron – HQ at Nikolayevka, Primorskaya - An-12, An-24, An-26;
- 175th Independent Shipborne Anti-submarine Helicopter Squadron – HQ at Yelizovo - Ka-27;
- 289th Independent Anti-submarine Air Regiment – HQ at Nikolayevka - Il-38, Ka-27, Ka-29;
- 689th Independent Fighter Aviation Regiment – Kaliningrad Chkalovsk - operating Su-27;
- 4th Independent Naval Assault Aviation Regiment – Chernyakhovsk Air Base - operating Su-24M/MR;
- 125th Independent Helicopter Squadron – HQ at Chkalovsk - operating Mi-8, Mi-24;
- 396th Independent Shipborne Anti-Submarine Helicopter Squadron - Donskoye Air Base - Ka-27/PS, Ka-29;
- 398th Independent Air Transport Squadron – HQ at Khrabrovo - An-2, An-12, An-24, An-26, Be-12, Mi-8.
- 25th Independent Anti-submarine Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Kacha, Crimea - ~20 helicopters of types Ka-27 and Mi-14
- 917th Independent Composite Air Regiment - HQ at Kacha, Crimea - ~10x Antonov transport aircraft of types An-2, An-12 and An-26; 4x Be-12; ~10x Mi-8
- 43rd Independent Naval Shturmovik (Assault) Air Squadron - HQ at Gvardeyskoye, Crimea - 18x Su-24M; 4x Su-24MR;
Structure after 2008–2011 reformsEdit
As a result of the 2008 Russian military reforms, the units of the Russian Naval Aviation were reorganized into 13 new Naval Air Bases. Each new naval air base consists of an HQ, support units and one or more aviation groups/wings (the former air bases). In a second stage, the air bases were merged into territorially integrated structures. Only the 279th Regiment retained its status. The planned transfer of Naval Aviation assets (Su-24, Su-27, Tu-22M3, MiG-31) to the Air Force has been delayed  due to their importance to the service, but was finally implemented by the end of 2011.
As of 2012, the only fixed wing strike and fighter aircraft of Russian Naval Aviation are the Su-33 fighters and Su-25UTG attack aircraft of the 279th Regiment (forming the Admiral Kuznetsov's carrier air wing), plus the Su-24 bombers based in the Crimea. This sole bomber unit remained part of Naval Aviation as an exception to satisfy treaty requirements governing Russian forces deployments on Ukrainian territory (these must be part of the Black Sea Fleet). Buying brand new multirole Sukhoi Su-30SM for the Black Sea Fleet to replace Su-24 was in the planning stages and it has been completed as of December 2016. Naval aviation also retains the anti-submarine aircraft of the forces (the Tu-142 and the Il-38) and the helicopter arm.
Given the new data from 2015-16 from Russian sources regarding the 100th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment's disbandment in 1993, Air Force's Monthly's listing of both the 100th and 279th Regiments at the Severomorsk-3 NAB has been altered by removal of the 100 KIAP.
Naval air bases of the Russian Naval Aviation include:
Baltic Fleet air bases - HQ at Kaliningrad:
- Doiskoe NAB
- Chernyakhovsk NAB
- Chkalovsk NAB
- Khabrovo NAB
Black Sea Fleet air bases - HQ at Sevastopol:
- Gvardiyskoye NAB
- Kacha NAB
- Novofedorivka NAB
- 43rd Independent Naval Attack Aviation Regiment (43rd OMShAP) (formerly at Gvardeiskoye) (Su-30SM, Su-24M/MR)
Northern Fleet air bases - HQ at Severomorsk:
- Kipelovo NAB
- Olenegorsk NAB
- Severomorsk-1 NAB
- Severomorsk-2 NAB
- Severomorsk-3 NAB
- 279th Independent Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment (279th OKIAP)
- Monchegorsk NAB
- 98th Composite Aviation Regiment (98th SAP)
Pacific Fleet air bases - HQ at Vladivostok:
The Russian Naval Aviation maintains a large and varied fleet of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, the most numerous of which is the Kamov Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopter that operates from various surface ships.
- International Institute for Strategic Studies: The Military Balance 2014, p.185
- "World Air Forces 2015" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- air force monthly, January 2012
- Michael Holm, 100 KIAP, Sources, and "Век в строю ВМФ авиация Военно-Морского Флота России (1910-2010)" by P.V. Levshov and D.E. Boltenkov; Tayfun, Saint Petersburg 2012, 768 pages. Excellent book with unit histories of every single naval aviation unit in existence between 1910 to 2010.
- Air Force Monthly 2007
- "Black Sea Fleet to get 18 new warships and renew naval aviation till 2020". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Moscow Defense Brief #2, 2011 p. 18-22
- "Ударные самолеты морской авиации передадут ВВС до конца года".
- "12 -30". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. December 2016. p. 86.