106 years ago, 12 August 1912, by decree of Emperor Nicholas II, the state of the aeronautic unit of the General Directorate of the General Staff was formed in the country. This is the starting point for stories Russian Air Force.
Far from always, military pilots celebrated their holiday on this day; for a long time, the date of the celebration changed many times. So, in 1924, by the decision of Frunze, the celebration of the day of the air force fleet was postponed to July 14. And in 1933, Stalin already postponed the celebration date to August 18. At the same time, Air Force Day in the Soviet Union received the status of a public holiday. It was influenced by success in development aviation industry of the young Soviet state.
Later, the date of the celebration was changed several times. By the date of August 12, they finally returned to the 2006 year, when, considering the historical past, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree “On the establishment of professional holidays and memorable days in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”.
Military aviation of our country has a glorious and long history. It was the Russian military pilot Pyotr Nikolayevich Nesterov who laid the foundations for aerobatics, for the first time in history having performed the difficult element “loop”, in Russia this figure of aerobatics is sometimes called the loop of Nesterov. The pilot demonstrated his skill 27 August (9 September) 1913 of the year in Kiev over the Syretsky field. The great merit of Nesterov was that he first began to use the lifting force of the wing of the aircraft to perform maneuvers not only in the horizontal but also in the vertical plane.
Petr Nikolaevich Nesterov
Russian military aviation performed well during the First World War. Despite the fact that Russian industry was then behind the military industry of other countries, and Russian military pilots fought mainly on foreign-made aircraft, it was in Russia in 1915 that the first multi-engine serial bomber Ilya Muromets in the world was created in Russia, also a specialized fighter to escort it. For its time, the four-engine bomber "Ilya of Murom" was a unique aircraft, on which a number of records of payload, time and maximum altitude were set.
In Soviet times, the development of military aviation was given even more attention and strength. Everyone understood that in future battles, aviation would show its worth. In the prewar period in the Soviet Union, a large number of excellent combat aircraft were created and launched into mass production, including the renowned Il-2 “flying tank” attack aircraft, the Yak-1 lightweight maneuverable fighter, and the Pe-2 dive bomber.
Throughout the Great Patriotic War, Soviet military pilots massively showed heroism and made an enormous contribution to the overall victory. During the war years, 44 093 pilots were trained in the country, of which 27 600 died in battle: 11 874 fighter pilots, 7837 attack pilots, 6613 bomber pilots, 689 auxiliary pilots and 587 reconnaissance pilots. During the war years, more than 600 Soviet pilots made air rammers, the exact number is still unknown. At the same time, more than 2 / 3 of all air ramming came in the first years of the war - 1941-1942 years. The most effective fighter pilots of the Great Patriotic and World War II on the part of the allies were also our air aces - Ivan Kozhedub (62 victories) and Alexander Pokryshkin (59 victories). For their exploits in the sky, they were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union three times.
In the postwar years, the main direction of development of the country's air force was the transition from piston aircraft to jet. Work on the first jet aircraft began in the USSR back in 1943-1944, and the first flight of such an aircraft made in March 1945. During the flight tests, flight speed was exceeded in excess of 800 km / h. 24 April 1946, the first Soviet production jets - the Yak-15 and MiG-9 fighters - flew into the sky. The massive use of jet aircraft began in 1947-1949, when the serial jet fighters MiG-15 and La-15 with swept wings, as well as the first Soviet front-line bomber with turbojet IL-28, appeared.
At the beginning of the 1980-s, airplanes of the fourth generation began to arrive in service with the Air Force, which were characterized by a significant improvement in maneuverability and flight performance. Modern Su-27, MiG-29 and MiG-31 fighters, attack aircraft Su-25, the world's largest strategic supersonic Tu-160 bombers began to enter the regiments. At the same time, fourth-generation airplanes - MiG-29, Su-27, MiG-31, created taking into account the advanced achievements of science and technology of the USSR, are still in service with the Russian Air Force. The existing groundwork allowed for the modernization of these aircraft, as well as creating on their basis new models of the 4 + generation, which form the basis of the fleet of the Russian Air Force at a given time.
Nowadays, the Russian Air Force is a branch of the military, which is part of the Air Force of the Russian Federation. Russian Air Forces are designed to repel aggression in the air sphere and to protect against high-level command and control points of the military and state administration, administrative and political centers of the country, industrial and economic areas, the most important objects of the economy and infrastructure of Russia and groups of troops (forces); destruction of objects and troops of the enemy using both conventional and nuclear weapons; aviation support of combat operations of troops (forces) of other types and types of troops.
Military aviation continues to perform a very large range of tasks: guarding and patrolling the country's air borders; transportation of troops, weapons and military equipment; landing of subunits. In addition, the crews of the Russian Air Force are regularly involved in the performance of special tasks, such as ensuring air patrols, evacuation of victims of emergencies and natural disasters, extinguishing large forest fires and solving many other problems. As part of combat training, the air force flight crews work through various questions and tasks to repel aerial aggression of a potential enemy, and provide ground cover for troops. Today no large Russian military exercises can do without the participation of the Air Force.
Since 2015, Russian military pilots, at the request of the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic, perform combat missions in Syria as part of a military operation against the Islamic State terrorist group (Islamic State (IG) is a terrorist group banned in Russia).
New modern threats and challenges that face the Russian Air Force today require their modernization and updating. In recent years, this process is particularly active. According to information from open sources, the aviation fleet of the Russian Air Force currently consists of more than 800 fighter jets (Su-27, Su-30, Su-35, MiG-29 and MiG-31), roughly 150 strike aircraft (Su-24 and Su 34), around 200 attack aircraft (Su-25), as well as 150 training aircraft (including Yak-130), about 70 strategic bombers (Tu-95 and Tu-160), more than 40 long-range missile carrier bombers Tu-22 3MXNUMX.
On August 12, the Military Review congratulates all military pilots, both acting and veterans, on their professional holiday - the Day of the Air Force!
Based on materials from open sources