( 1996. )

Hungarian military aviation has a good tradition. The heroic Hungarian pilots of the WWII. established worthily the base of the Hungarian military aviation. In fact there is no Hungarian Airforce but this term refers to the air units of the Hungarian Defence Forces. Air units are under the control of the Hungarian Airdefence Headquarters. The airforce operates a complete unit at each airbase which are usually form a regiment with an own command structure. After the political changes in the early '90s the units got own names beside registration numbers.

The situation of the Hungarian Airforce

Hungarian pilots has the most flight time in the '80s which exceeded the 100 hours a year. This number is descending more and more since that and by 1995. it reached the annual 50-60 hours. As the budget of the Ministery of Defence provided less money for 1996. there were two choices for the future. They provide 30-40 hours flight time for every pilot or they provide some 80-90 hours for some pilots while the others fly only a few hours to keep their capacity for fly. Even the first possibility was bad for the pilots because even the annual 60 hours flight was not enough to keep the skill of pilots they reached by years of hard training. In case of the second possibility the best pilots would fly enough to keep or even encrease their skill and they could take the other pilots to their skill level in a while if it is necessery. The ommited pilots would have language and theoretical training in the same time. Eventually the second possibility was chosed and the annual flight time of the pilots is about 40 hours at the moment. On the other hand we could say that Hungarian pilots always achieved the appreciation of the western military pilots visited to Hungary who often has more than 200 flight hours a year.


  • 3 tactical fighter regiments with 7 squadrons
  • 1 helicopter regiment with 5 squadrons
  • 1 mixed transport aircraft brigade with 4 squadrons
  • 1 mixed transport aircraft division
  • 3 training squadrons

Currently operating types

  • fighter aircrafts
    • 22/6 MiG-29 A/UB
    • 10/2 MiG-23 MF/UB
    • 32/8 MiG-21 bis/UM

  • attack/reconnaissance aircrafts
    • 9/2 Su-22 M3/UM3 (1)

  • training aircrafts
    • 12 Jak-52
    • 19 L-39 ZO

  • transport aircrafts
    • 12 An-26
    • 2 L-410
    • Z-43

  • helikopterek:
    • 39 Mi-24 D (2)
    • 48 Mi-8 TB/Mi-17
    • 35 Mi-2

The units of the Hungarian Airforce

59th Dezsô Szentgyörgyi Tactical Fighter Regiment - Kecskemét

This is the most important unit in the airforce. The task of the unit is the airdefence of the E part of Hungary. Both squadrons are flying with MiG-29 which is currently the most modern type of the Hungarian Airforce.

Current type

  • 2 squadrons ( 22/6 ) MiG-29 A/UB

47th Pápa Tactical Fighter Regiment - Pápa

This unit is responsible for the airdefence of the NW part of Hungary. This regiment was the most important unit in Hungary for a long because here operate the 1 squadron MiG-23 aircraft which was the most advanced fighter of the airforce until the arrival of the MiG-29. Beside the MiG-23s also this is the homebase of 1 squadron MiG-21.

Current type

  • 1 squadron ( 10/2 ) MiG-23 MF/UB
  • 1 squadron ( 12/2 ) MiG-21 bis/UM

31st Kapos Tactical Fighter Regiment - Taszár (3)

The unit's task is the airdefence of the SW part of Hungary. This is the only one fighter regiment which has three squadrons. Beside the special attack/ reconnaissance Su-22 squadron two MiG-21 squadrons are also based here.

Current type

  • 1 squadron ( 9/2 ) Su-22 M3/UM3
  • 2 squadron ( 20/6 ) MiG-21 bis/UM

87th Bakony Helicopter Regiment - Szentkirályszabadja

This is the only one unit which operate attack helicopters. Beside the two squadrons Mi-24 one squadron Mi-8 and Mi-17 and one special electronic countermeasure Mi-17 squadron are also based here.

Current type

  • 2 squadrons ( 39 ) Mi-24 D
  • 1 squadron Mi-8
  • 1 squadron Mi-17
  • 1 squadron ( 2 ) Mi-17 PP

89th Szolnok Mixed Transport Aircraft Brigade - Szolnok

The task of the unit is the transportation of the political and military leadership of the country and other transport missions for the Hungarian Defence Forces. This is performed by 1 squadron An-26 transport aircraft, 2 squadrons Mi-8 and 1 squadron Mi-2 transport helicopter.

Current type

  • 1 squadron An-26
  • 2 squadrons Mi-8
  • 1 squadrons Mi-2

Vitéz László Háry Mixed Transport Aircraft Division - Tököl

The task of the division is the transportation of the political and military leadership of the country. This is performed by An-26, L-410 and Z-43 aircrafts.

Current type

  • ( 2 ) An-26
  • ( 2 ) L-410
  • Z-43

Szolnok Airforce Academy - Szolnok

The academy trains and instructs the pilots and the technicians for the airforce. The academy has 1 squadron propeller driven Jak-52 and 1 squadron L-39 jet trainig aircrafts and 1 squadron Mi-2 training helicopter.

Current type

  • 1 squadron ( 12 ) Jak-52
  • 1 squadron ( 19 ) L-39 ZO
  • 1 squadron Mi-2

Pilot training

In spite of Hungary has an own Airforce Academy for a long the training of military pilots was conducted abroad untill the near past.

Special rescue service

Similarly to other airforces Hungarian Airforce also has special forces which are trained to find and rescue the crew and the passengers of the crashed military or commercial aircrafts.


Hungarian Airforce lost 18 aircrafts and 9 pilots since 1981. Since 1990. 4 MiG-23s, 3 MiG-21s, 2 Su-22s, 1 L-39 were crashed and 7 pilots were lost due to the accidents.


Similarly to other former Warsaw Pact countries the Hungarian Airforce is also based on the MiG-21 aircrafts which were excellent fighters in their time but they became quite old fashioned by now. They must be replaced in a few years such as the MiG-23s. So by the millennium only 2 squadrons MiG-29 would remain which will able to protect the Hungarian airspace.

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

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