The Czechoslovak Air Force (Ceskoslovenske letectvo) is
tactical in nature; that is, its mission is to support the ground
forces and air defense of the country. As of 1987, Czechoslovakia
had no counterpart to the Long-Range Air Force of the Soviet
Union. Air force personnel in 1987 numbered approximately 56,000.
The ratio of career personnel to conscripts was about two to one.
The Czechoslovak Air Force was organized into two air armies.
The 7th Air Army was headquartered in Prague and possessed an
underground facility in Cerny Vrch; the 10th Air Army was
stationed in Hradec Kralove. The air armies consisted of four air
divisions with a total of fourteen regiments. The air force
possessed twenty-two military airfields and fourteen reserve
fig. 17). Four of the military airfields-
-Mimon, Mlade, Olomouc, and Sliac--were used by the Soviet air
force. Six of the reserve military airfields were used for civil
In 1987 the air force possessed 465 combat aircraft and about
40 armed helicopters. Of the four fighter-ground attack
regiments, one consisted of fifty Su-7BM/Us, one of forty MiG23Ms , one of thirty MiG-21/21 Us, and one of twenty-five Su-25
aircraft. Six interceptor regiments possessed 275 MiG-21, MiG-21
U, and MiG-23 jet aircraft, half of which were used for air
defense and half for battlefield support. In early 1987 the
Czechoslovak Air Force apparently had recently received one
squadron of the most up-to-date MiG-23 BuM fighter bombers.
The reconnaissance regiment flew twenty MiG-21RFs, ten Su22s , and fifteen Aero L-29s. The two transport regiments had at
their disposal two An-12s, six An-24s, forty IL-14s (undergoing
replacement by An-26s), one Tu-134, and two let L-410 Ms. The one
helicopter regiment consisted of three independent squadrons,
which together possessed forty mil Mi-24 attack helicopters,
sixty-five Mi-8 and sixty Mi-4 medium transport helicopters, and
fifty-five Mi-2 and twenty Mi-1 light transport helicopters. The
Czechoslovak Air Force used Z-43 aircraft for liaison purposes.
The Czechoslovak air defense system comprised a command
headquarters, with 3 divisions consisting of 6 SAM regiments
possessing some 40 sites and 250 SA-2/3 missiles. The system
included aircraft detection and surveillance stations and
antiaircraft artillery units. Most of the SAM sites were located
strategically along the border with West Germany. Antiaircraft
artillery units are used for defense against low-flying targets.
Data as of August 1987