59th Dezsô Szentgyörgyi Tactical Fighter Regiment - Kecskemét

The regiment got its name after Dezsô Szentgyörgyi who was the most succesful Hungarian fighter pilot of the WW II with his 33 kills. The regiment consists of 2 squadrons; Puma ( puma ) and Dongó ( bumble-bee ).

The 59th is traditionally the display unit of the Hungarian Airforce, the open airbase. The base was the home of the first meeting beetween American F-16s and Russian MiG-29s in Eastern Europe in 1990 shortly after the political changes. This tradition is maintained after the arrival of the new MiG-29s of the regiment in 1993. The regiment which is rightly proud of its MiG-29s often receives foreign political and military delegations. In 1995 the base was visited by German MiG-29s and Dutsch F-16s. The JAS-39 Gripen was introduced here to the Hungarian political and military leadership as a possible replacement of the old Hungarian MiG-21s, as well.

The story of the regiment

The regiment was formed in 15th February of 1951 in Kunmadaras. They moved to Kecskemét in 1952 and have based there since that. In the beginning they were equipped with Jak-18, Jak-11, Zlin-381 and Jak-9 aircraft.

From July of 1951 the regiment started to retrain to jet aircraft and they already received 10 MiG-15s combat and 4 MiG-15s training aircraft in the same month. By December of 1951 they already had 20 combat and 5 training MiG-15s. They've performed 1st degree readiness with one pair of aircraft and 2nd degree readiness with one more pair of aircrafts since June of 1952.

In 1955 one part of the crew got retraining for the MiG-17 F aircraft while the other part got its retraining for MiG-17 PF aircraft in 1956. From the second part of 1955 till 1974 they kept 16 MiG-17 Fs and 12 MiG-17 PFs in service.

Due to the political events in 1956 the training flights were suspended for months and the regiment suspended its readiness service, as well. Later they continued with 1 squadron of MiG-15s and 1 squadron of Jak-11 training aircraft and the MiG-17s were transported from Kecskemét by the Soviets.

They got the name of 59th Fighter Regiment in November of 1958 and kept Kecskemét as a homebase. Till 1961 the regiment was inferior to the Air Training Centre and later they flew under the control of the National Airdefence Headquarters. They have continoued the readiness service from January of 1961 continuously.

In 1962 the regiment changed for the MiG-21 F-13 type and in the end of 1964 they got the MiG-21 U too. All the 3 squadrons were retrained for same type and were retrained at Pápa airbase.

In 1965 the regiment spent 5 months in Mezôkövesd temporaryly and in 1975 they spent another half year there due to reconstructional works.

From 1975 the regiment started to retrain for the MiG-21 MF type. From August of 1979 they already performed the daytime readiness with the MiG-21 MF and from November the night readiness were also performed with the MiG-21 MF. The MiG-21 MF type performed the readiness service till September of 1994.

In the summer of 1993 one part of the technicians and the pilots got retraining for MiG-29 in Krasnodar, Russia and the 28 MiG-29s which was a 800 M $ payment of the Russian debt to Hungary arrived to Kecskemét later in the autumn of the same year.

The 1st squadron of the regiment became operational with the MiG-29 on 1st September of 1994 and the MiG-29 took over the readiness service from the MiG-21 MF. On 1st September of 1995. the 2nd squadron became also operational with the MiG-29 so the regiment and the MiG-29 reached the fully operational status. This time the MiG-21 MFs left the regiment. Some of them were destroyed, some were dismantled as spare parts and some were transported to Pápa where they were put into reserve.

Current type

  • 2 squadrons ( 22/6 ) MiG-29 A/UB

The tasks of the regiment

Airdefence of the civilian and military objects, the concentrations of ground troops in the eastern region of the country against enemy airstrikes in cooperation of the airdefence missile and artillery units, air support, tactical air reconnaissance and providing air escort.

Some units of the regiment assigned to perform combat readiness service in peace time. The tasks of these units are the folloeings.

  • destroying air targets
  • attacking ground targets
  • perform reconnaissance missions
  • air policing against aircraft braking the rules
  • providing help to civilian or military aircraft beeing in trouble

As these tasks are typical for the other tactical fighter regiments of the Hungarian Airforce only the occasional differences will be mentioned in the description of these units.

Current type of the regiment

The MiG-29 A is a fourth generation, all weather, light tactical fighter aircraft. The aircraft is capable of large- or medium distance and close air combat. It also has limited air to surface capability. The armament consists of guided and unguided missiles, bombs of different calibres and a 30 mm internal machinegun. The radar is capable of tracking 10 targets at a time but only one target can be attacked by missile at a time. The radar also has look down / shoot down capability.

Length 17.32 m
Wingspan 11.36 m
Height 4.73 m
Max. take off weight 18480 kg
Max. speed 2.3 M ( 2480 km/h )
Range without external fuel tanks 1430 km
with external fuel tanks 2100 km
Engine 2 Isotov RD-33

For more detailed description see our type description part.

Collected and put together by Tamás Gál; Transferred to HTML language by Kornél Straub

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