Leadership: Russian Air Force Slims Down And Shapes Up


December 18, 2009: The Russian Air Force, like the Army, is undergoing an extensive reorganization. Very extensive. The number of units will be cut from 340 to 180. The number of aircrew (mainly pilots) will be cut 40 percent (from 12,000 to 7,000). The number of officers will be reduced by nearly half (from 65,000 to 38,000). Smaller cuts in enlisted personnel will be made, About half the current aircraft will be retired or sold, and over the next decade, 70 percent of the remaining aircraft will be replaced with new models, or upgraded.

The key combat elements will be 33 air bases and 13 air defense brigades. Interceptor and missile units will be allocated to four regional commands at St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk and Rostov-on-Don. In addition, there will be a long-range aviation command, a transport command and an aerospace defense command.


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