( 1995. )

The times of Nicola Ceausescu's dictatorship brought significant changes in the Romanian Airforce. At first the flying hours were decreased dramatically and were downed to 20-25 hours a year. The aircrafts often were forced to stay on the ground due to lacking of fuel. On the other hand there were good influences of this period, as well. Although Romania were member of the former Warsaw Pact they managed to establish and maintain an independent aircraft industry so they produced/produce all of their attack aircrafts and helicopters on their own. Thanks to Ceausescu's policy Romania purchased Il-28 R reconnaissance aircrafts from China.

The situation of the Romanian Airforce

The situation of the pilots changed for the better considerably after the political changes in Romania. The annual flying hours which stagnated for a long time at a level of 20-25 hours were increased significantly and the quality of pilot training got more importance.

Currently operating types

  • fighter aircrafts
    • 1 squadron MiG-29 A/UB
    • 3 squadrons MiG-23 MF/UB
    • 9 squadrons ( approx. 150 ) MiG-21 MF/PF/PM/UM

  • bomber/reconnaissance aircrafts
    • 1 squadron MiG-21 RF
    • 1 squadron Hong-5 R ( Il-28 R )
    • 2 squadrons Iar-93

  • training aircrafts
    • 2 squadrons Iar-99
    • 2 squadron ( 35 ) L-29
    • 2 squadron ( 34 ) L-39 ZA

  • helicopters
    • Iar-330 ( Puma licence )
    • Iar-316 ( Alouette III licence )

The units of the Romanian Airforce

47th Fighter-bomber Regiment - Craiova

The unit operates 1 squadron MiG-21, 2 squadrons Iar-93 ( Romanian made attack aircraft similar to the Jaguar ) and 2 squadrons Iar-99 ( new Romanian made jet trainer )

Current type

  • 1 squadron MiG-21
  • 2 squadron Iar-93
  • 2 squadron Iar-99

57th Fighter Regiment - Constanta

This unit is the favourite unit of the airforce and based at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase near Constanta. In the past they were prepared to stop any attack from the direction of Turkey. This unit was always the first one to get the new types. The regiment the only one today in the airforce which operates MiG-29 aircrafts. Beside the MiG-29 squadron they have 2 squadrons MiG-23, as well.

Current type

  • 1 squadron MiG-29 A/UB
  • 2 squadrons MiG-23 MF/UB

93rd Fighter Regiment - Oradea

The unit near Oradea operates 1 squadron MiG-23 and 2 squadrons MiG-21. It is the only base in the airforce which has hardened concrete hangars but as there are only a few one they only accommodate the MiG-23s and the other planes are stored under the bare sky. The interest of this unit is that here operates the only one MiG-21 RF reconnaissance squadron.

Current type

  • 1 squadron MiG-23 MF/UB
  • 1 squadron MiG-21 MF/UM
  • 1 squadron MiG-21 RF

Bacau Airbase

This regiment operates 3 squadron MiG-21. One of these squadrons is a MiG-21 retraining squadron while the other two squadrons operate the PF and PM variants of the MiG-21.

Current type

  • 1 squadron MiG-21 UM ( ? )
  • 1 squadron MiG-21 PF/UM
  • 1 squadron MiG-21 PM/UM

Borcea Airbase

In Borcea there are 2 squadrons MiG-21 and 1 squadron Hong-5 R. The Hong-5 R is a Chinese produced Il-28 R reconnaissance aircraft which was purchased from China for return the considerable co-operation. Beside the MiG-21 RF aircrafts this type is the other reconnaissance type of the Romanian Airforce.

Current type

  • 1 squadron Hong-5 R
  • 2 squadrons MiG-21

Cluj Luni Airbase

The unit which is based in the NE of the country operates MiG-21 aircrafts.

Current type

  • 2 squadrons MiG-21

Romanian Military Flight Academy - Boboc

In 1991. all of the airforce's training aircrafts were concentrated to the academy. So this is the home base of the L-29 and the L-39 type jet trainer aircrafts.

Current type

  • 2 squadrons ( 35 ) L-29
  • 2 squadrons ( 34 ) L-39


The losses of the Romanian Airforce between the January and the October of 1994. were the followings.

06 JanuaryIar-3306 died, 1 wounded
01 MarchMiG-291 died
10 March.MiG-23 UB2 ejected
24 MayMiG-211 died
29 JuneMiG-211 ejected
09 AugustMiG-23 MF1 ejected
29 SeptemberMiG-211 ejected
14 OctoberMiG-211 died

Pilot training

Roman military pilots are trained in the Romanian Military Flight Academy which is based at Boboc.

Admitted students get a 40-50 hours training with propeller driven aircraft in Focsani before getting to the academy.

Once in the academy students start with theoretical basics in the firs year. In the second academic year students start practical training with more and more difficult aircrafts. In this stage of training students may become a air controller, meteorological officer or other type officer of the airforce. In the third year students are divided into fighter, bomber, transport and helicopter pilots. In the followings everyone gets the training with the most suitable aircraft for his task. After finishing the fourth year pilots get to their combat units and get the training for the type which is currently operated by their units.

Some 70 students leave the academy as a young pilot every year. These pilots speak not just Russian language but English, as well.


Romania takes part in the Israeli MiG-21 modernisation project. Romania plans the modernisation of 100 MiG-21 MF aircrafts till the year of 1999. The project is on his way in Romania in the aircraft factory of Craiova and this factory will take part in further MiG-21 modernisations for foreign countries too.

Beside the MiG-21 project Romania such other former Warsaw Pact countries is heading to change its older aircrafts to a modern western multirole aircraft. In fact also French Mirage 2000, the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen and the American F-16 is in the competition here like in the other markets. Maybe the French Mirage has a little advantage in this competition due to the traditionally good relationship between the French and Romanian aircraft industry.

In the June of 1995. Romania made a 1 billion $ contract with the American Bell Helicopter Textron company. According to this contract the production of 96 UH-1 F attack helicopter for the Romanian Airforce will start in 1999. in Brasso, Romania.

Collected and put together by Tamas Gal; Transferred into HTML language by Kornel Straub

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