“TheCeļotājs”
"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
 
The Soviet Air Defense Forces 
 
      
 
The Soviet Air Defense Forces Russian: "Войска ПВО, Voyska ProtivoVozdushnoy Oborony, Voyska PVO, V-PVO", lit. Anti-Air Defense Troops; and formerly ProtivoVozdushnaya Oborona Strany, PVO Strany, lit. "Anti-Air Defense of the Nation" was the air defense branch of the Soviet Armed Forces. It continued being a service branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation from 1991 to 1998. Unlike Western air defense forces, V-PVO was a branch of the military unto itself, separate from the Soviet Air Force (VVS) and Air Defense Troops of Ground Forces. During the Soviet period it was generally ranked third in importance of the Soviet services, behind the Strategic Rocket Forces and the Ground Forces.
 
History
 
Service during Second World War
 
Preparations for creation of the air defense forces started in 1932, and by the start of the war there were 13 PVO zones located within the military districts. The outbreak of war found air defense forces in the midst of rearmament. In the anti-aircraft artillery was still little new 37mm automatic and 85mm anti-aircraft guns. The troops were not enough high-Yak-1 and MiG-3, 46% of the fleet were obsolete aircraft. Accelerated rates have been initiated measures to equip troops with new equipment.
 
In July 1941, the National Defense Committee took several measures to strengthen the cover of Moscow and Leningrad, Yaroslavl and Gorky industrial areas, and the protection of strategic bridges across the Volga. To this end was
accelerated formation of parts of the IA, IN, anti-aircraft machine gun and searchlight units.
 
A classic example of a major political organization of defense and industrial center was the defense of Moscow. It was carried out by the 1st Air Defense Corps and the 6th Fighter Aviation Corps PVO. As part of these formations at the beginning of massive Nazi air raids had more than 600 fighters, more than 1,000 small and medium guns calibers, 350 machine guns, 124 fasting air balloon barrage, 612 posts are made, 600 anti-aircraft searchlights. The presence of such large forces, skillful management organization foiled enemy attempts to inflict massive air strikes. Just broke the city 2.6% of the total number of aircraft. Air defense forces defending Moscow destroyed 738 enemy aircraft. In addition, assaults by the 6 Fighter Aviation Corps inflicted blows, destroyed 567 enemy aircraft on the ground. Overall, the Air Defense Forces destroyed 1,305 aircraft, and in combat with the enemy armies destroyed 450 tanks and 5,000 vehicles.
 
On 9 November 1941, the post of the Commander of the Air Defense Forces was created, and Major General Mikhail Gromadin "Громадин, Михаил Степанович" was appointed. In January 1942, to improve the interaction of forces and air defense systems in January 1942, fighter aircraft was subordinated to the Air Defense Command. In April 1942, the Moscow Air Defense Front was founded, and the Leningrad and Baku Air Defense Armies. There were first operational formations of the Air Defense Forces.
 
In June 1943, the Office of the Commander of Air Defense Forces of the country was disbanded. Following the reorganization in April 1944 created the Western and Eastern Air Defense Fronts, and the Transcaucasian Air Defense Area, which this year have been reorganized as the North, the South and the Transcaucasian Air Defense Fronts. Air defense forces, to defend Moscow, were reorganized in particular the Moscow Air Defense Army. In the Far East in March 1945, three air defense armies were established : Maritime, Priamurskaya, Transbaikalia.
 
During the Second World War the Air Defense Forces provided the defense industry and communication, allowing the breakthrough to the objects only a few planes, so that there were brief stops enterprises and impaired movement of trains on some sections of railways. In carrying out its tasks, air defense of the country destroyed 7,313 German aircraft, of which 4168 and 3145 by the IA antiaircraft artillery, machine guns and barrage balloons. More than 80,000 soldiers, sergeants, officers and generals of the Air Defense Forces were awarded orders and medals, and 92 soldiers were awarded the title of "Hero of the Soviet Union" and one - twice. 
 
Structure During World War II
 
During the war PVO formations were organized as Air Defense Fronts and Air Defense Armies. PVO Fronts normally covered airspace over several ground Army Fronts; these should not be confused with each other. The Air Defense Fronts - Russian: "Фронты ПВО" had the following service history: 
  • Western Air Defense Front 
    • 1st formation 29 June 1943 - 20 April 1944 renamed to Headquarters, Northern PVO Front 
    • Northern Front PVO 21 April 1944 - 23 December 1944 formed from Headquarters, Western PVO Front "1st formation"; re-flagged as Headquarters, Western PVO Front "2nd formation" 
    • 2nd formation 24 December 1944 - 9 May 1945 formed from Headquarters, Northern PVO Front 
  • Moscow Front PVO 6 April 1942 - 10 July 1943 formed from Headquarters, Moscow PVO Corps Region; re-flagged as Headquarters, Special Moscow PVO Army
  • Southern Front PVO 21 April 1944 - 24 December 1944 formed from Headquarters, Eastern PVO Front; re-flagged as Headquarters, Southwestern PVO Front
  • Southwestern Front PVO 24 December 1944 - 9 May 1945 formed from Headquarters, Southern PVO Front
Cold War
 
All the possible air components were divided as of "1945, before the 1949 reforms of the Soviet Armed Forces" into; 
  • Active Army - Russian: "Действующая армия" air forces assigned to fighting Fronts, known as Frontal Aviation
  • PVO Territorial Defense Forces "PVO-TDF" - Russian: "Войска ПВО территории страны; Voiska PVO territoriy Strany"
  • PVO Army on sovereign territory - Russian: "армия ПВО территории страны, Armiy PVO Territorii Strany"
  • STAVKA High Command Forces Reserve PVO - Russian: "Резерв Ставки ВГК"
  • Military Districts' PVO - Russian: "Военные округа, Voennyi Okruga"
  • Inactive Fronts' PVO - Russian: "недействующие фронты"
The PVO Strany was separated from the other Soviet Armed Forces services in 1949. In May 1954, it was established as equal to the other branches of the Soviet Armed Forces, receiving its first commander-in-chief: Marshal of the Soviet Union Leonid Govorov.
 
The PVO's principal role was to shoot down United States Strategic Air Command bombers if they penetrated Soviet airspace. Secondary target were U.S. air reconnaissance aircraft. There were a number of such aircraft shot down
while operating around the Soviet borders, including MiG-17s downing a US reconnaissance Lockheed C-130 Hercules over Armenia, with 17 casualties in 1958. The PVO gained an important victory on May 1, 1960, when a S-75 Dvina missile downed Gary Powers' U-2, causing the short U-2 crisis of 1960.
 
The PVO had its own chain of command, schools, radar and sound director sites. From the mid 1960s however, PRO, anti-rocket defense, and PKO, anti-space defense, troops began gaining strength under PVO leadership and its high command, eventually forming the basis for the now-Russian Aerospace Defense Forces, formerly the Russian Space Forces. Organizationally, there were two main PVO districts for most of the USSR's postwar history, Moscow and Baku,
and the rest of the country was divided into PVO regions like in Belarus, the Ukraine, the Baltic's and Central Asia. However in 1960 it appears that most of the PVO regions/areas were reorganized into seven separate armies of the Air
Defense Forces - the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 14th, and 19th Air Defense Army. In 1963 additionally the 12th Air Defense Army was formed. 
 
In a 1981 reorganization, the now Voyska PVO was stripped of many command and control and training assets, which were moved to the Air Force.
 
On 1 September 1983 the PVO shot down Korean Air Flight 007 after they correctly believed that the civilian airliner had illegally crossed into restricted Soviet airspace but mistook it for a spy plane. Previously Korean Air Flight 902 had once crossed into Murmansk airspace, and had to make an emergency landing when a Soviet Air Force Su-15 fired on it. Soviet government officials finally admitted their mistake much to the anger of the South Korean and the United States governments. It even resulted in the forced and sudden resignation of the then Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff, Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, in the following year by the CPSU General Secretary and President of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium Konstantin Chernenko.
 
Mathias Rust's flight to Moscow in May 1987 caused a massive shakeup within the PVO. It seems that after the KAL 007 shoot down of 1983, no one was willing to give an order to bring Rust's tiny Cessna down, and modernization
programmers within the PVO had led to the installation of radar and communications systems at the state border that could not effectively pass tracking data to systems closer to Moscow. PVO Commander-in-Chief Marshal A. I. Koldunov was only among the first to be removed from his position. Over 150 officers, mostly from the PVO, were tried in court and removed from their posts. A large-scale changeover of senior officers of the force more generally followed as well.
 
Under the Russian Flag
 
In December 1994, the 4th Air Defense Army was transformed into the 5th separate air defense corps, which in 1998 became the 5th Army of VVS and PVO. In 1998, the force groupings and headquarters of the PVO that had remained within Russia were merged with the Russian Air Force becoming part of the Moscow District of Air and Air Defense Forces, and the 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, and 14th Armies of VVS and PVO.
 
The Day of Air Defense Forces "Den' Voysk PVO" was initially established in 1975, to be celebrated on April 11. In 1980 this was changed to the second Sunday of April. It is still celebrated in the Russian Federation even after the 1998 merger of the Air Defense Forces with the Air Force. The unofficial motto of the Forces is 'Сами не летаем - другим не дадим' "Sami ne letaem - drugim ne dadim", which can be translated as "Don't fly -- don't let others" /
"If we can't fly -- we won't let anyone else either".
 
Commanders-in-Chief, Air Defense Forces
  • Marshal of the Soviet Union Leonid Govorov 1954-1955
  • Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergei Biryuzov 1955-1962
  • Marshal of Aviation Vladimir Sudets 1962-1966 Russian: "Судец, Владимир Александрович"
  • Marshal of the Soviet Union Pavel Batitsky 1966-1978
  • Chief Marshal of Aviation A. I. Koldunov 1978-May 1987
  • General of the Army I.M. Тret'yak 31 May 1987-24 August 1991
  • General of the Army Viktor A Prudnikov (ПРУДНИКОВ) с 09/1991-December 1997 
  • General-Colonel Viktor P Sinitsin "СИНИЦИН Виктор Павлович" Dec 1997 - Feb 1998
The post was then disestablished with the merger of the PVO and VVS in 1998.
 
Structure
 
The PVO structure during the Cold War and in Russia until 1998 consisted of three specialized branches: the Radiotechnical Troops "радиотехнические войска", Surface-to-Air Missile Troops "зенитно-ракетные войска", and Fighter Aviation "истребительная авиация; Istrebitel’naya Aviatsiya; IA-PVO". Armies, corps, and divisions of the PVO were made up of units from all three branches.
  • Moscow Air Defence District, now "the Russian Special Purpose Command"
  • 2nd Air Defense Army "Belorussian Military District"
  • 4th Air Defense Army "HQ Sverdlovsk" 
    • 5th Air Defense Corps 
    • 19th Air Defense Corps 
    • 20th Air Defense Corps "Perm, Perm Oblast" 
      • 763rd, 764th, 765th Fighter Aviation Regiments PVO 
  • 6th Air Defense Army "Leningrad Military District" 
    • 27th Corps, Riga, 54th Corps, and 14th Division of PVO, Tallinn 
  • 8th Air Defense Army "HQ Kiev" 
    • 49th and 60th Corps of the PVO 
  • 10th Air Defense Army "HQ Murmansk" 
    • 21st Air Defense Corps 
    • 22nd Air Defense Corps 
    • 22nd Air Defense Division 
Fighter Regiments of the 10th Army PVO 1988
 
      
 
Feskov et al reports the 470th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment in addition, but Holm's information makes it likely this is a mistake. The regiment is reported at Afrikanda.
  • 11th Red Banner Army of the PVO "Far East Military District" 
    • 8th and 23rd Corps, and 6th, 24th, and 29th Divisions of the PVO 
  • 12th Air Defence Army "HQ Tashkent" 
    • 24th and 37th Corps of the PVO 
  • 14th Air Defence Army "Siberian Military District" 
    • 38th, 39th, 50th and 56th "Semipalatinsk" Corps of the PVO and 41st Division of the PVO 
  • 19th Air Defence Army "19th Army of the PVO" "Transcaucasus Military District" 
    • 14th Corps of PVO "Tblisi" 
    • 51st Corps of PVO "Rostov-na-Donu" 
    • 10th Division of PVO "Volgograd" 
    • 97th Lvov Red Banner Division of PVO "Baku" 
Inventory "1987/1990"
 
The PVO inventory of 1990 was:
 
2,410 Interceptors
  • 210 Su-27 Flanker
  • 850 MiG-23 Flogger
  • 350 MiG-25 Foxbat
  • 360 MiG-31 Foxhound
  • 500 Su-15 Flagon
  • 90 Yak-28 Firebar
  • 50 Tu-128 Fiddler
AWACS Aircraft 
  • 7 Tupolev Tu-126 Moss
  • 1 Beriev A-50 Mainstay
Surface to air missiles on strength in 1990 included:
  • 1,400 S-25 Berkut - being replaced by the Almaz S-300 and expected to be replaced by the Almaz S-400 Triumf
  • 2,400 Lavochkin S-75 Dvina
  • 1,000 Isayev S-125 Neva\Pechora - 300+ sites, 2 or 4 missile launchers and rails
  • 1,950 Almaz S-200 Angara\Vega\Dubna - 130 sites
  • 1,700 Almaz S-300 - 85 sites, 15 more building
  • ABM-1 Galosh Anti-Ballistic Missile, part of the A-35 missile defense system
Previous fighter aircraft operated by the PVO included:
  • MiG-3
  • La-9 Fritz
  • La-11 Fang
  • MiG-15 Fagot
  • MiG-17 Fresco
  • MiG-19 Farmer
  • MiG-21 Fishbed
  • Su-9 Fishpot
  • Yak-25
 
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Revised: 02/07/2013 – 11:50:07