This is a thread to discuss all things about the Belarus airforce.
To start us off the Belarussian fly ~40 MiG-29s, and 17-23 Su-27P/UB. They also fly 35-40 Su-24s, out of which 5-10 are Su-24MR variants. Allegedly over 70 (maybe 76) Su-25s are in service.
They are not really an independent air force, since there is a joint Russian-Belorussian command of the Russian and Belorussian air and air defense units. Flight hours for pilots reportedly hover at 20-25 hours annually, with a large chunk of them allocated to younger pilots.
Belarus Air and Air Defense Forces - VVS i PVO Vooruzhennyh Sil Respubliki Belarus - MILAVIA Air Forces
Belarus Air Force Equipment
Their latest addition will be the Su-30K fighters, that were originally exported to India at the very start of the MKI program, and which have now been replaced by new MKIs. They will be modernized to the Su-30KN level, at the Belarussian 558th aviation repair factory in Baranovsk.
Новости NEWSru.com :: Москва за свой счет пополнит белорусские ВВС российскими истребителями, привезенными из Индии
Reportedly they will be paying 10 mln USD a piece, for the aircraft. There is speculation that Russia will help finance the contract.
Only 10 million USD per bird, thats a really friendly price. How many planes are they ordering?
According to the Ria article the planes will cost 15 million USD after they receive an overhaul, still pretty cheap. The article also says that Sudan and Syria were potential customers for the used Su-30s, but due to the political conditions surrounding the countries, sales to them are off the list.
Belarus may buy outdated Su-30 fighters from Russia | Defense | RIA Novosti
Ethiopia was also considered. 10 mln is the price per airframe, another 5 mln is the cost of the repairs and upgrades. These will be the first multi-role fighters for Belarus. In fact these are the first new fighters for Belarus since the USSR.
I wonder if this is just an opportunity buy, or whether Belarus intends to upgrade their airforce in a more major way.
Also they may be considering a MiG-35 purchase. While they probably don't have the money to buy the planes at export price, they can get it at internal prices, because they are CSTO members. The may even be able to get a Russian subsidy for the buy.
Would buying Su 30 KNs really enhance the Belarussian Air Force's capabilities? Of course they are more modern than its current Su 24 Ms and quite cheap, but the KN-version was developed some years ago and the aircraft have already been used for several years.
As Belarus is suffering from a serious economic crisis right now, wouldn't it be better not to spend money on weapons systems which will become obsolete again within some years and instead wait for a good offer for the MiG 35 or a new version of the Su 30?
The price is so low, it's basically a steal. Given the poor state of the Belarussian airforce, they don't have the money for MiG-35 or Su-30MK variants.
Would they be allowed to resell them to friendly countries? Iґd imagine that also has a big impact on the buying decision.
Belarus is negotiating for Yak-130 combat-trainers. Before 2005 Belarus sent their pilots to Russia for training on Russian L-39s, in 05-06 they purchased a number of L-30s in Ukraine and now operate them out of the 206th CAS airbase.
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No numbers are mentioned, but they'd probably buy 10-12, to make a single training squadron. This really makes me wonder if this is connected to the Su-30KN buy.
This makes me wonder where the Belarussians got the money from.
I thought the country would suffer from an economic crisis...
If they have to spend so much money on new weapons, they should at least
retire a larger part of their existing fleet, e.g. the Su 24 and MiG 29S.
Flying only 10-12 L-39's as trainers and with over 100 combat planes? Doesn't seem like a very good ration for training. Do they operate any Mig-29UB's or any of the other double seater variants? What variant of the Su-25 are they operating and can these be used for training?
They use Su-27UBs MiG-29UBs and Su-25UBs for training in regular units. L-39s, and Yak-130s, would be used for initial pilot training before they are assigned to a unit.
I just read that at the moment all BeAF aircraft are grounded after the crash of a
MiG 29 and a Mi 24. The Air Forces' Commander stated that pilot errors and the
aircrafts' high age are responsible for the crashes.
So Belarus indeed seems to be looking for new (or at least newer) aircraft.
I wonder whether they'll buy now helicopters, too
Doubtful, I know, but I was wondering if Belarus has any plans on purchasing UAV's? transport aircraft?
A Belorussian company has developed an indigenous UAV, I think it was called Grif, but I'm not sure. It's a light UAV similar to the Heron. Maybe the Air Force will buy it as most of its recce aircraft are already obsolete (do they have any ECR aircraft besides the Su 24MR?).
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