What the Ukrainian Air Force Has in the Sky

A Sukhoi Su-27 takes off from Starokostiantyniv Air Base, Ukraine. [File Photo: U.S. Air National Guard by Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn]

The Ukrainian Air Force was created in March 1992 out of aircraft that were left behind when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and pulled out of Poltava Air Base in central Ukraine.

The aircraft ranged from Soviet-built fighters such as the MiG-21, 25s and 27s, Sukhoi Su-15, 17 interceptors, and Tupolev Tu-160 bombers. 

According to Globalfirepower.com, the Ukrainian Air Force has 318 aircraft and approximately 200,000 personnel. The UAF is part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and its headquarters is in the city of Vinnytsia. 

Over the years, the UAF has replaced the aging fleet. Currently, it’s made up of:

  • Ilyushin Il-76 multipurpose four-engine aircraft
  • Several Antonov transports
  • A smattering of MiG-29s and Sukhoi fighters
  • Mil Mi-8 helicopters

Number Crunch

Breaking it down by the numbers, the Ukrainian Air Force has: 

  • 69 fighters
  • 29 dedicated attack aircraft
  • 32 transports
  • 71 trainers 
  • 5 aircraft designated as special mission
  • 112 helicopters
  • 34 attack helicopters
Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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