Alternative Cold War History 1994

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Air Force

Romanian Air and Air Defence Forces

The Romanian Air Force operates about 270 front line combat aircraft, 40 helicopters, 20 transport and about 100 training aircraft as well as many air defence missile systems. Although mostly dated by 1994, there is a thriving domestic aviation industry which produces Mi-8/17 helicopters and IAR-93 ground attack aircraft. The primary focus of the air force is to support the Army in its dual role of reinforcing Bulgaria to the south and Hungary to the northwest. There are no Soviet air elements hosted in Romania but there are plans for immediate reinforcement in the event of war.

MiG-21

These are quite dated and primarily used in the ground support role and in follow on strikes. There are over 150 in reserve including 100 Air Defence MiG-21PFM and MiG-21PF ‘Fishbed F’. Under development is the MiG-21 Lancer, production and exchange of technology limitations however will delay production into 1995.

There are three versions of 2nd generation MiG-21s in service, the MiG-21RF Fishbed-H reconnaissance variant, 9 of the original 12 remain in service. There are 68 MiG-21M and 110 MiG-21MF Fishbed-J in operation, 35 ‘MFs’ having been transferred to Romania from the former East Germany. The Fishbed-J forms the backbone of the air force with about half of the combat aircraft in use. Additionally about 35 two seat training variants operated in the air combat training schools, these are a mix of MiG-21US and MiG-21UM Mongol-B, with advanced avionics. All fighter pilots spent time on this type to learn the basics of air combat.

Unit Location Type No Remarks
59th Ftr Regt Timisoara AB MiG-21MF 35 From DDR
71st Ftr Regt TurziiAB MiG-21MF 35
86th Ftr Regt Borcea AB Mig-21MF 35
90th Ftr Regt Bucharest AB Mig-21MF 25
MiG-21RF 9
91st Ftr Regt Craiova AB MiG-21M 35

MiG-23

The Romanian air force operates one regiment of MiG-23MF Flogger-B in the air superiority role. Although the aircraft is capable of air to ground operations, this is generally left to the MiG-21s. There are 33 of the original 36 airframes available as well as 6 of the original 10 Mig-23UB training versions.

Unit Location Type No Remarks
93rd Ftr Regt Timisoara AB MiG-23MF 33

MiG-29

As with all Warsaw Pact satellites, the most modern and capable aircraft available is the MiG-29A. A true multi-roll 4th generation aircraft able to match NATO air superiority fighters on a nearly equal bases, the Fulcrum is very advanced, highly maneuverable, and quite rugged. Romania received 17 Fulcrum A of which 13 remain in service plus 4 two seat ‘UB’ trainers.

Unit Location Type No Remarks
57th Ftr Regt Constanta AB MiG-29A 13
MiG-29UB 4 Combat capable

IAR-93B

The IAR-93 Vulture is a ground attack replacement for the older MiGs in Romanian and Yugoslav service. Designed and built in Romania (called the Orao in Yugoslavia), these aircraft are rugged, capable aircraft. Romania received 41 pre-production and ‘A’ variants with sub-sonic engines and 27 ‘B’ versions with afterburning engines, improved efficiency, hard-points and several other features. There were also 15 ‘MB’ variants with the airframe of the ‘B’ and the subsonic engines of the ‘A’. In Northern Fury, the 15 ‘MB’s were equipped with the better engines enabling the air force to field 42 IAR-93B.

Unit Location Type No Remarks
49th Ftr Regt Timisoara AB IAR-93B 20
67th Ftr Regt Craiova AB IAR-93B 20