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Moldovan Air Force

Moldovan Air Force
Moldovan Air Force emblem
Founded 21 August 1991 -
Country Moldova
Size 1,040 personnel (2012)
Aircraft flown
Helicopter Mil Mi-8
Transport An-72, An-26, An-2,

The Moldovan Air Force is the national air force of Moldova. It was formed following Moldova's independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991 and is part of the Military of Moldova.


  • Structure 1
  • Aircraft 2
    • Current inventory 2.1
    • Withdrawn from service 2.2
  • Moldovan MiG-29s on display 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


In 1994 the Air Force consisted of 1,300 men organized into one fighter regiment, 1 helicopter squadron, and 1 missile brigade. They had 31 MiG-29 aircraft, 8 Mi-8 helicopters, 5 transport aircraft (including an Antonov An-72), and 25 SA-3/SA-5 Gammon surface-to-air missiles.[1]

In 2002 the Air Force consisted of 1,400 men.[2]

In 2007 the Air Force had been reduced to a strength of 1,040 men organized into one helicopter squadron, and one missile battalion. They had 6 MiG-29S aircraft, upgraded in Ukraine and stationed in Mărculeşti Air Base, 8 Mi-8 helicopters, 5 transport aircraft (including an Antonov An-72), and 12 SA-3 surface-to-air missile.

In March 2010, the Moldovan Air Force signed an agreement with the Romanian Air Force regarding the exchange of information about military aircraft flights near the border, the exchange of radar data, the obligation to provide mutual support to military aircraft in distress and future joint operations.[3]


Under an agreement finalized on 10 October 1997, the United States acquired 14 MiG 29Cs, described by U.S. officials as wired to permit delivery of nuclear weapons. Also, the United States purchased six MiG 29As, one MiG 29B, 500 air-to-air missiles and all the spare parts and diagnostic equipment present at the Moldovan Air Base where the aircraft were stationed. In return, Moldova received around $40,000,000, humanitarian assistance and non-lethal excess defense articles, such as trucks.[4] The purchase was not without its opponents in Moldova, and the then acting defense minister, Valeriu Pasat would later be charged for illegally selling the aircraft to the USA.[5]

In late 1998 Moldova also sold 10 MIG 29s to Eritrea, but it was speculated that these aircraft were no longer airworthy.

All of those MiG-29s were transported from Moldova to the National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in C-17 transport planes over a period of two weeks.[6]

In February 2012, Defense Ministry announced eight planes and eight military transport helicopters will be purchased at the cost of US$240 million.[7]

Current inventory

Moldavian Mi-8PS for VIP transport (former Nicolae Ceauşescu helicopter).
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
AN-26 Soviet Union transport 1[8]
Mil Mi-2 Soviet Union utility / liaison 1[8] operated under the Transnistrian armed forces
Mil Mi-8 Russia utility Mi-8/171 1[8] operated under the Transnistrian armed forces

Withdrawn from service

Moldova received approximately 34 MiG-29’s from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, proving too expensive to maintain, they were sold off to Eritrea, Yemen. and the United States. Other unserviceable aircraft to be placed in storage consisted of the An-2, Tu-134, and some An-24’s[9]

Moldovan MiG-29s on display

Moldavian MiG-29UB trainer (1997).
  • Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas.[10]
  • NAS Fallon Airpark.
  • The National Air Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. A two seat MiG-29UB is on display.[11]
  • 2 MiG-29s are on display at Nellis AFB. One is at the outside of the Threat Training Facility and another, in better shape, inside a hangar alongside a MiG-23.[12]
  • One is currently stored in a restoration hangar at the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. As of June 2007, the aircraft has been put in display at the Cold War Exhibit of the Museum and continues to receive minor upgrading while on display.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ Moldova - The Armed Forces
  2. ^ Show Indicator Information
  3. ^ Collaboration protocol between the Romanian and Moldovan Air Force, (in Romanian)
  4. ^ Arms Control Association: Arms Control Today: U.S. Buys Moldovan Aircraft to Prevent Acquisition by Iran
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ DefenseLink News Transcript: DoD News Briefing: Cooperative Threat Reduction Initiative
  7. ^ 17 February 2012. Retrieved: 17 February 2012allmoldova,"Defense Ministry to buy eight planes and eight military helicopters",
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Threat Training Facility Aircraft
  13. ^
  14. ^

External links

  • Expenditures for 2000
  • )In RussianStructure (

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