Life has lightened up a bit so I'm getting back into it. I'm planning to do the Soviet 16th Air Army. This was the premiere Air Army for the late-Cold War Soviets, being stationed in East Germany. They got the best equipment and was a sought after posting. The Air Army was broken into three fighter divisions (usually about 3 regiments with ~30-35 AC each) and two fighter-bomber divisions. The army also had two separate SU-25 regiments and recon and transport regiments. Today I'm doing the 16th Guards Svirskaya Red Banner Fighter Aviation Division! This division had its roots in the Second World War and went through several designations until being renamed the 16th in late 1944. In 1960 it had relocated to East Germany and remained there with few changes until the mid 1990's when it relocated to the Rostov region of Russia. The 16th disbanded in 1998.
33rd Fighter Aviation Regiment: This unit was based at Wittstock, NW of Berlin. It flew Mig-21's into the early 1980's and then converted slowly over several years, first to Mig-23's and then in 1985 to exclusively Mig-29's. The 1990 CFE data from 1990 showed it's strength at 21 Mig-29's and 2 Mig-23U's (a two seat trainer).
733rd Fighter Aviation Regiment: The 773rd was based at Damgarten, an airfield close to the Baltic Sea just NE of Rostock. In the late 1980's, the regiment was flying Mig-23's but began conversion to Mig-29 in 1989. CFE data the next year has 31 Mig-29 and 4 Mig-23UM's.
787th Fighter Aviation Regiment: This regiment was based at Finow, an airfield NE of Berlin beginning in 1970 and remained for 23 years. Initially flying Mig-21's, they transitioned to Mig-23's in 1976. In 1982, she also acquired some Mig-25PD's. It's unclear if these were replacements for or in addition to the Floggers. In August of 1989, the 787th began to convert to a Mig-29 wing and the Floggers and Foxbats were gone by the end of the year. CFE data shows a strength of 31 Mig-29's and 3 Mig-23UM's.
What intrigues me is that if the info I have is accurate, the Soviets were upgrading their forward air forces more slowly than a lot of contemporary western sources suggest. Even at the beginning of 1989, two of the three assigned regiments were still flying Floggers. It could be the Soviets were not building airplanes as fast as we believed, that they were actually holding back more advanced designs for air defense purposes (this seems true with the SU-27's), or that assumptions back then that were available to westerners was simply wrong. It could also be my current sources are wrong as well. Any thoughts or insights would be helpful but I'm a little underwhelmed.
It's also interesting that they seemed to be holding a few Mig-23's specifically for training at the forward bases, which seems odd. Why not just have your pilots train in the rear on your older designs and then fly the first rate equipment exclusively at the forward airfields? Maybe they would've gotten a trainer version of the Mig-29 eventually but it seems like they just had a very different approach.
I'm including links to my sources below. These are really helpful to building out these bases and can also be helpful I imagine for people building scenarios.
1. http://www.ww2.dk/new/newindex.htm A great resource of Soviet OOB's for all branches.
As always, many of these old Soviet bases are very decommissioned and often returning to nature. The Germans also seem to be covering all of them with solar panels so many of these features are somewhat approximations. Any errors or omissions are no one's fault but mine. Enjoy and if anyone has feedback please let me know!
< Message edited by Rob322 -- 4/18/2021 4:15:41 AM >