Slovak Air Force

Slovak Air Force

Slovak Air Force emblem
Active 1939-1945
Country  Slovakia
Allegiance NATO
Size 24 aircraft
9 helicopters
3.200 personnel
Air Force Commander Major General Miroslav Korba[1]
Low-visibility Roundel
Aircraft flown
Attack L-39ZAM
Fighter MiG-29AS/UBS
Trainer L-39CM
Transport L-410, Mi-17

The Slovak Air Force, known since 2002 as the Air Force of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Vzdušné Sily Ozbrojených Síl Slovenskej Republiky), is the aviation and air defense branch of the Slovak Armed Forces. It operates 24 aircraft and 9 helicopters from 3 air bases: Malacky Air Base, Sliac Air Base, Prešov Air Base. Together with the Czech Air Force, it succeeded the Czechoslovak Air Force in 1993. The Slovak Air Force is part of the NATO Integrated Air Defense System – NATINADS.[2][3][4][5][6]

The Slovak Air Force is tasked with the defense of the sovereign Slovak state and the support of the nation's ground troops.[7] Nine Russian upgraded fighter aircraft MiG-29[8][9][10][11][12] together with eight modernized basic and light advanced trainers (Aero L-39) dominate the inventory, followed by the seven Let L-410s. The last Antonov An-26 transport aircraft were withdrawn from service on March 4, 2016.[13] The helicopter fleet consists of the nine Mil Mi-17s.[14] Eight Mil Mi-24s were withdrawn from service on September 20, 2011. The Slovak Air Force has been under the command of Major General Miroslav Korba since September 15, 2012.[15][16][17][18][19][20]



After the division of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany in 1939, Slovakia was left with a small air force composed primarily of Czechoslovak combat aircraft. This force defended Slovakia against Hungary in 1939, and took part in the invasion of Poland in support of Germany. During the World War II, the Slovak Air force was charged with the defense of Slovak airspace, and, after the invasion of Russia, provided air cover for Slovak forces fighting against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. While engaged on the Eastern Front, Slovakia’s obsolete biplanes were replaced with German combat aircraft, including the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The air force was sent back to Slovakia after combat fatigue and desertion had reduced the pilots' effectiveness. Slovak air units took part in the Slovak National Uprising against Germany from late August 1944.[21][22][23]


During this time Czechoslovakia was a member of the Eastern Bloc, allied with the Soviet Union, and from 1955 a member of the Warsaw Pact. Because of this, the Czechoslovak Air Force used Soviet aircraft, doctrines, and tactics. The types of aircraft were mostly MiGs. MiG-15, MiG-19, and MiG-21F fighters was produced in license; in the 1970s, MiG-23MF were bought, accompanied by MiG-23ML and MiG-29s in the 1980s.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the Czechoslovak Air Force consisted of the 7th Air Army, which had air defense duties, and the 10th Air Army, responsible for ground forces support.[24] The 7th Air Army had two air divisions and three fighter regiments, and the 10th Air Army had two air divisions and a total of six regiments of fighters and attack aircraft. There were also two reconnaissance regiments, two transport regiments, three training regiments, and two helicopter regiments.

In November 1989 Communism fell across Czechoslovakia. The two parliaments of the two new states from 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, decided how to split the assets of the former air force. The assets were divided 2:1 in the Czechs' favor, and thus the Slovak Air Force was (re)formed. However the 20 MiG 29s were shared equally between the two countries. [25]


After the formal dissolution of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993, Czech and Slovak aircraft were divided according to each nation's population, in a ratio of nearly 2:1 in the Czech Republic's favor.[26] The exceptions to this rule were the MiG-23's, which were given exclusively to the Czech Air force, and the MiG-29's, which were divided evenly between the two nations. Slovak bases were initially under-equipped to handle the aircraft transferred from the Czech bases, and required considerable improvements in infrastructure to facilitate the new air force. On March 1, 1995, the air force replaced the Soviet style aviation regiment organization with the western wing and squadron system.[27] Around 2000–2002, Slovakia gradually retired many of the older aircraft, including the entire fleet of Su-22, Su-25, and MiG-21.[28] In 2004, the flight training academy and national aerobatic demonstration team Biele Albatrosy, both based at Košice, were disbanded.[29][30]

On January 19, 2006, the Slovak Air Force lost an Antonov An-24 in a crash.

On September 20, 2011, all of the remaining Mil Mi-24 gunships were retired.[31][32][33][34]

In January 2014, Slovakia started discussions with the Swedish Government regarding leasing or purchasing JAS-39 Gripen aircraft to replace their MiG-29 fighters.[35][36]

On April 21, 2014 Slovakia and RAC MiG signed a contract for a three years long modernization programme for the air force's MiG-29 fighters.[37][38][39][40]

On July 28, 2014 Slovak Minister of Defence Martin Glváč[41] confirmed that the JAS-39 Gripen was selected as the new fighter aircraft for the Slovak Air Force.[42]

Slovakia to open talks with Sweden on Gripen jet fighters. In its effort to boost defence capabilities, Slovakia is set to begin official talks on the rental of Gripen jet fighters from Sweden, with the Slovak government assigning the task to Defence Minister Martin Glváč at its regular session on March 18, 2015. Glváč envisaged the beginning of the negotiations back in late January. The government maintains, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that Sweden is the only country to offer Slovakia an option whereby it could rent flying hours. Details of the costs and number of Gripens to be used in Slovakia are still to be elaborated during the talks.[43]

“The only partner who fulfils our current conditions is the Swedish government, and the producer of Gripens,” he said.[44][45]

After two years of talks with Sweden about acquiring Gripens, Slovakia is now pursuing other options regarding its fighter squadrons and is in talks with Russia to extend its use of MiG-29 fighters by 2019.[46][47]

Bases and Commands

Map of Slovak Air Force bases


A Slovak Air Force MiG-29
A Mi-17 of the Slovak Air Force
A retired Slovak MiG-21

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
MiG-29 Russia multirole 12[48] 2 missing engines
L-410 Turbolet Czech Republic surveillance 1[48]
Antonov An-26 Ukraine transport 2[48] All were retired.[49][50][51]
L-410 Turbolet Czech Republic transport 6[48]
Alenia C-27J Italy transport 2 on order[48]
Schweizer 269C United States trainer 1
Mil Mi-17 Russia transport / utility 13[48] 4 were retired
Sikorsky UH-60 United States utility UH-60M 9 on order[48]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Czech Republic trainer 10[48] 3 were retired
Elbit Skylark Israel surveillance I-LEX 5[52] assigned to the Ministry of Interior and 5th regiment

Retired aircraft

Previous aircraft operated by the Air Force include MiG-21’s, Sukhoi Su-22’s, Sukhoi Su-25’s, Tupolev Tu-154’s, Aero L-29’s, and Mil Mi-24 helicopters[53]

Future aircraft

The Slovak government has given approval for the acquisition of nine Sikorsky UH-60M helicopters. The 261 million US dollars (€236.7 million) deal, would include training, logistics, spares, and maintenance, the aircraft could be delivered between 2017 and 2019.[54][55]

Air Defense

Slovak S-300
Name Origin Type In service Notes
S-300(SA-10) Soviet Union SAM system 1 battery One battery will have 48 missiles.[56] Probably will be transition to system Patriot or Arrow 3.
2K12 Kub Soviet Union SAM system 5 batteries tracked medium-range surface-to-air missile system

See also


  2. "The ambitions of the Slovak armed forces. Theory and reality."
  3. "Trends in Slovak Republic military spending"
  4. "Východiská strategického hodnotenia obrany Slovenskej republiky 2011"
  6. "Na obranu pôjde v roku 2014 jedno percento HDP" 10 October 2013
  7. "The Military Balance 2014"., February 05, 2014.
  8. " Abonentná zmluva na prevádzku lietadiel MiG-29 na roky 2011–2016" December 3, 2011
  9. SME – Petit Press, a.s. "Slovenske vzdune sily sa ete stle musia spolieha na stroje z komunizmu". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  10. SME – Petit Press, a.s. " – Stihacky MiG-29 su vyrabovane, Smer zvazuje prenajom". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  11. SME – Petit Press, a.s. " – Piloti sthaiek pravdepodobne odlietaj menej hodn, ako bol pln". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  12. "Galkovi ľudia podľa Glváča trpeli kanibalizovaním stíhačiek". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  13. "Holes in Central European Skies" 23 October 2013
  14. sk:Zoznam lietadiel Vzdušných síl Slovenskej republiky
  15. "Biela kniha o obrane SR 2013"
  16. "Ozbrojené sily nemajú praktické kroky, tvrdí Martin Fedor". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  17. "CÉROVSKÝ: Ozbrojené sily sú vo veľmi zlej situácii". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  18. "Ročenka MO SR 2012"
  19. "Ročenka MO SR 2013"
  20. "Commander of the Slovak Air Force". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  21. "Hkans Aviation page – The Slovak National Uprising". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  22. Slovak Insurgent Air Force
  23. List of World War II aces from Slovakia
  24. ed David Oliver, Eastern European Air Power, No 3 in the AFM Airpower Series, Key Publishing Ltd, Stamford, Lincs, 1990–91, p.38-41
  25. John Pike. "Slovak Republic Air Force – Equipment". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  26. Ed. David Donald.The Pocket Guide to Military Aircraft and the World's Air Forces. Ed. David Donald. London:Hamlyn. 2001 ISBN 0-600-60302-4
  27. Slovak Air Arms
  28. White October Ltd. "The Conventional Imbalance and Debate on Russian Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  29. "Scramble". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  30. "Situácia na Ukrajine 2013" 12 December 2013
  31. SME – Petit Press, a.s. "Vrtuľníky Mi-24 vzlietli v Prešove naposledy – Spravodajstvo –". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  32. "Vojakov je menej. Za desať rokov klesol ich počet o 8000". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  33. "Nie je obrana už dávno v kríze?!" 24 April 2011
  34. "Obrana po slovensky alebo Armáda, kam ťa to dovedú...". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  35. "Slovakia Plans To Acquire Fighter Jets". Defense News. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  36. Stockholm TT. "Slovakien intresserat av Gripen". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  38. "Minister Glváč odpísal sovietske Migy, opravy by stáli veľa". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  39. SME – Petit Press, a.s. "Slovensk armda je zvisl od ruskch dodvok". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  40. P E R E X , a. s. "Nové stíhačky si armáda prenajme". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  41. "Minister of Defense of the Slovak Republic". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  42. "Slovakia "wants Gripen" from 2016". AIRheads↑FLY. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  43. "Saab's Gripen Enters a New High-fly Zone". Defense News. 3 May 2015.
  44. Petit Press a.s. "Slovakia to open talks with Sweden on Gripen jet fighters".
  45. "Plan of joint Czech-Slovak air squadron fails".
  46. "Gripeny zrejme nebudú. Glváč rokuje o predĺžení zmluvy na Migy-29" [Gripens are not likely, Glváč is negotiating to extend MiG-29 agreements] (in Slovak). Sme. 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  47. "Plán česko-slovenské letky ztroskotal" [The plan for a joint Czech-Slovak air squadron falters] (in Czech). XXVIII (284). Lidové noviny. 2015-12-07. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  48. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "World Air Forces 2016 pg. 28". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  52. P E R E X , a. s. "Armáda kúpila bezpilotné lietadlá. Snažila sa to tajiť". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  53. "World Air Forces2004 pg. 55". Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  55. "Slovakia approves deal for nine UH-60 helicopters". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
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