Syrian Air Force


Syrian Air Force

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Syrian Air Force
"Al Quwwat al-Jawwiya al Arabiya as-Souriya"


caption=
start_date= 1948
country= Syria
allegiance=
branch=
type=
role=
size=
command_structure=
garrison=
garrison_label=
equipment=
equipment_label=
nickname=
patron=
motto=
colors=
colors_label=
march=
mascot=
battles= Six-Day War
Yom Kippur War
1982 Lebanon War
anniversaries=
decorations=
battle_honours=
current_commander=
current_commander_label=
ceremonial_chief=
ceremonial_chief_label=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
colonel_of_the_regiment_label=
notable_commanders=
identification_symbol=
identification_symbol_label= Roundel
identification_symbol_2=
identification_symbol_2_label=
aircraft_attack= Su-24, Su-22, Mi-24
aircraft_bomber=
aircraft_electronic=
aircraft_fighter= MiG-29, MiG-21, MiG-23
aircraft_interceptor= MiG-25
aircraft_recon=
aircraft_patrol=
aircraft_trainer=
aircraft_transport= Il-76, An-26, Mi-17, Mi-8, Gazelle
The Syrian Air Force ( _ar. القوّات الجوية العربية السورية, "Al Quwwat al-Jawwiya al Arabiya as-Souriya") is the Aviation branch of the Syrian armed forces.

Markings

The roundel used by the Syrian Air Force has the same basic design as that used by the Egyptian Air Force. It consists of three concentric circles, with a red outer, white middle and black inner. The unique part of the Syrian roundels is the presence of two green stars in the white circle, which is reflective of the two stars on the national flag. The fin flash is also an image of the flag.

History

The end of World War II led to a withdrawal of the United Kingdom and France from the Middle East, and this included a withdrawal from Syria. In 1948, the Syrian Air Force was officially established after the first class of pilots graduated from flight schools in Britain.

The 1950s saw Syria and Egypt attempt to unify as the United Arab Republic, this was reflected in the Syrian Air Force with growth in personnel and aircraft. However, this union would not last. With the ascent to power of the Baath Party and Hafez Al-Asad, Syria began looking to the Soviet Union for help and built closer ties with the USSR. This in turn led to a massive influx of Soviet equipment to the Syrian Armed Forces, including the Air Force.

The Syrian Air Force, despite its training and capabilities never fared well against Israel. In the Six-Day War, the Syrian Air Force was defeated rapidly, losing two-thirds of its forces with the rest retreating to bases in remote parts of Syria. This in turn helped the IDF in defeating the Syrian Army on the ground and led to the loss of the Golan Heights.

The Yom Kippur War provided initial success for both Syria and Egypt. Though again Israel scored far more casualties in the air than it endured. Following this conflict, the Syrian Air Force continued to remain in the Soviet sphere of influence, whereas Egypt abandoned Soviet aid, and began building its Air Force with American, French, and Chinese equipment. During this war the Pakistani Air Force sent 16 pilots to the Middle East in order to support Egypt and Syria but by the time they arrived, Egypt had already been pushed into a ceasefire. Syria remained in a state of war against Israel. Eight (8) PAF pilots started flying out of Syrian Airbases; they formed the A-flight of 67 Squadron at Dumayr Airbase.

The Pakistani pilots flew Syrian MiG-21 aircraft conducting CAP missions for the Syrians. Flt/Lt. A. Sattar Alvi became the first Pakistani pilot, during the Yom Kippur War, to shoot down an Israeli Mirage in air combat. He was honored by the Syrian government. Other aerial encounters involved Israeli F4 Phantoms; Pakistan Air Force did not lose a single pilot or aircraft during this war.

The Pakistani pilots stayed on in Syria until 1976, training Syrian pilots in the art of air warfare.

Despite Syria's continued supply of Soviet equipment its Air Force again fared badly during conflicts with Israel over Lebanon in the early 1980s, losing over 80 planes while the Israeli Air Force lost only a handful, and none to Syrian Air Force fighters.

Modernization

Since then, the Syrian Air Force has continued to rebuild with Soviet equipment. However the full extent of this rebuilding is not known. Nor are the exact numbers of planes or what types of aircraft are in the Air Force. This is due to the amount of secrecy maintained by the Syrian government in regard to its military. It is known though that the Syrians have proccurred MiG-29s and Su-24s which should give its Air Force a great boost, though rumours regarding the recent purchase of some Su-27s appear to be unfounded. As of 2008, the Syrian air force is taking deliveries of 8 examples of MiG-31E from Russia, as well as MiG-29SMT and Yak-130. [http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/09/29/Russia_defends_arms_sales_to_Syria/UPI-28611222726785/]

In September 2007, the Syrian Air Force proved unable to intercept or stop the Israeli Air Force in Operation Orchard.

Aircraft Inventory

! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Aircraft! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Origin! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Type! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Versions! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Numbers In Service [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/syria/airforce-equipment.htm] ! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Comments
-----! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Fighter Aircraft
-----
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum
USSR
Multirole Aircraft (Various Roles)
MiG-29 total
MiG-29B
MiGSMT
56
42Verify source|September 2008|date=September 2008
14
Plans to upgrade to MiG-29SMT, and acquire a squadron of MiG-29M2. [http://www.1913intel.com/2007/06/25/the-strange-story-of-mig-31s-for-syria/.]
-
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31E Foxhound
USSR
Interceptor
MiG-31E
0
8 to be purchased [http://www.1913intel.com/2007/06/25/the-strange-story-of-mig-31s-for-syria/]
-
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger
USSR
Fighter
MiG-23 total
Mig-23BN
MiG-23UM
173
60
6
Plans to upgrade.
-
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat
USSR
Interceptor
MiG-25 total
Mig-25R
MiG-25U
37
6
2

-
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed
USSR
Fighter
MiG-21 total
MiG-21H/J
MiG-21U
142
40
20
plans to upgrade them, possibly with India [http://www.mig-21.de/english/syria.htm MiG-32.de]
-----! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Ground Attack
-----
Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer
USSR
Ground Attack
Su-24
20|
-
Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter-F
USSR
Attacker
Su-22F
50 |
-----! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Trainer Aircraft
-----
-
Aero L-39 Albatros
CZS
Trainer
L-39
23|
-
MBB 223 Flamingo
flagicon|Germany West Germany
Trainer
MBB 223
35|
-
MFI-17 Mushshak
flagicon|Pakistan Pakistan
Trainer
MFI-17
6|
-----! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Transports
-----
Antonov An-26 Curl
USSR
Transport
An-26
4 |
-
Ilyushin Il-76 Candid
USSR
Transport
Il-76
4|
-
Dassault Falcon 20
flagicon|France France
VIP transport

2|
-
Dassault Falcon 900
flagicon|France France
VIP transport

1|
-
Tupolev Tu-134 Crusty
USSR
VIP transport
Tu-134
4|
-
Yakovlev Yak-40 Codling
USSR
VIP transport
Yak-40
6|
-----! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Attack Helicopter
-----
Mil Mi-24 Hind
USSR
Attack Helicopter
Mi-24
36|
-
Aérospatiale SA-341 Gazelle
flagicon|France France
Attack Helicopter
SA-341
42|
-
Mil Mi-2 Hoplite
flagicon|Poland Poland
Attack Helicopter
Mi-2
20|
-----! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Transport Helicopter
-----
Mil Mi-8 Hip
USSR
Transport Helicopter
Mi-8
55|
-
Mil Mi-17 Hip-H
USSR
Transport Helicopter
Mi-17
45|

Air Bases

Missiles


=Air-to-air=

*Vympel AA-2 Atoll
*Bisnovat AA-6 Acrid - to be retired
*Vympel AA-7 Apex
*Molniya AA-8 Aphid
*Vympel AA-9 Amos - on order
*Vympel AA-10 Alamo


=Air-to-surface=

*Zvezda AS-7 Kerry
*Zvezda AS-10 Karen
*Raduga AS-11 Kilter
*Zvezda AS-12 Kegler
*Molniya AS-14 Kedge
*Euromissile HOT


=Surface-to-air=

* 275 Lavochkin SA-2 Guideline launchers
* 143 Isayev SA-3 Goa launchers - under upgrade
* 48 Almaz SA-5 Gammon launchers
* 200 SA-7 Grail
* 60 SA-8 Gecko

References

External links

* [http://nosint.blogspot.com/2007/06/migs-will-defend-syria-and-iran.html Russia implementing contract signed with Syria for the delivery of 5 MiG-31E fighter-interceptors]
* [http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_437.shtml Article on SyAAF tactics in regards to airspace breaches from Israel, and a history of those breaches]


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