Cuban Air Force DAAFAR

1a parte

Articulo que escribi para Jane’s World Air Forces en el 2007, ya tiene que ser actualizado.

 

Cuba – Air Force

 

1. Summary

1.1.1. STRENGTH

8,000

1.1.2. FIGHTER

MiG-29, MiG-23MF/ML, MiG-21bis

1.1.3. GROUND ATTACK

MiG-23BN (out of service)

1.1.4. TRANSPORT

 An-26, An-24, An-2

1.1.5 TRAINING

MiG-29UB, MiG-23UB, MiG-21UM, L-39C, Zlin-142

1.1.6 HELICOPTERS

Mi-17, Mi-35, Mi-24D

2. Assessment

Like the Revolutionary Army and Navy, the Revolutionary Air Force (Defensa Anti-Aérea y Fuerza Aérea Revolucionaria) has traditionally been a well-trained, professional organization. To a greater degree than the other services, however, the current shortage of replacement parts and a chronic lack of fuel have damaged the Air Force. For example, at San Antonio de los Baños Air Base, there are 4 MiG-29A, 17 MiG-23ML/MF/UB and 12 MiG-21s out of service. These planes have been cannibalized for parts to keep the active fleet flying in open air storage. Fuel constraints in particular impair the service’s operational potential, and also have a highly detrimental effect on future training programs. It appears inevitable that the effective size and operational capabilities of the Air Force will continue to decline and that reportedly dire morale problems will worsen in future.

3. Deployments, tasks and operations

 

REVOLUTIONARY AIR AND ANTI-AIRCRAFT DEFENSE FORCE in 1990

 

Zona Aerea Oeste 

2a  Brigada de la Guardia   “Playa Giron” 

Comando de Defensa Aerea-Air Defense Command
   Unit                                                                                             # Aircraft Type                                   Role                                         Air Base
UM 1779 Regimiento de Caza                                                              
UM          Escuadrón de Caza                                              6 MiG-29A, 2 MiG-29UB                     Air Defense                   San Antonio de los Baños
UM          Escuadrón de Caza                                             12 MiG-23ML, 4 MiG-23UB                  Air Defense                   San Antonio de los Baños
UM 4768 Escuadrón de Intercepción                                 12 MiG-21Bis ,2 MiG-21UM                    AD/Attack                   San Antonio de los Baños
Comando de Transporte-Logistic Support Command
UM 3688 Regimiento de Transporte
UM          Escuadrón de Transporte                                                  9 An-26                                         Transport                                     Playa Baracoa
UM          Escuadrón de Transporte                                                  9 An-26                                         Transport                                     Playa Baracoa
UM 3404?Escuadrón de Transporte                                                   8 An-2                                          Transport                                     Playa Baracoa
UM 3405 Escuadrón  Ejecutivo                       3 Yak-40, 4 An-24, 2 MI-8P, 2MI-8TB                      Transport                                     Playa Baracoa
Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria:
UM          Escuadrón de Helicópteros de Guerra Anti-Submarina        4 Ka-32, 14 Mi-14PL                Anti-Submarine                                       Mariel                                                                                                             

Escuela Militar para Pilotos Aéreos (EMPA)- Air Training Command

  Unit                                                                                                         # Aircraft Type                               Role                                   Air Base

UM 7000 Escuela de Aviación Militar Comandante Che Guevara

UM            Escuadrón de Enseñanza Básica                                                    4 An-2                                  Primary Training            San Julián/ Mantua
UM 1650? Escuadrón de Enseñanza de Vuelo Avanzada                             12 MiG-21UM                          Combat Training                        San Julián
UM            Escuadrón de Enseñanza de Preparación Combativa                  12 MiG-21PFMA                      Combat Training                       San Julián
UM            Escuadrón de Enseñanza de Preparación Combativa                  12 MiG-21MF                          Combat Training                        San Julián

UM 1660 Training

UM          Escuadrón de Enseñanza Básica                                                       12 L-39C                              Primary Training                        La Coloma
UM          Escuadrón de Enseñanza Básica                                                       12 L-39C                              Primary Training                        La Coloma

 

Tropas Guardafronteras -San Nicholas de Bari (closed)

 4-6Zlin 142, 3 Mi-17 (to DAAFAR)        

Sociedad de Educacion Patriotica Militar (SEPMI) 

4-6 Zlin 142, PZL 104, Zlin 326, Zlin526?

 

 

Zona Aerea Central

1a Brigada de la Guardia “Batalla de Santa Clara” 

 

 Comando de Defensa Aerea-Air Defense Command                                                  

       Unit                                                                                                   # Aircraft Type                                    Role                                    Air Base
UM 1890 Regimiento de Intercepción              
UM         Escuadrón de Intercepción                                          12 MiG-21Bis, 2 MiG-21UM                              AD/Attack                        Santa Clara
UM         Escuadrón de Intercepción                                          12 MiG-21Bis, 2 MiG-21UM                              AD/Attack                        Santa Clara
Comando Aéreo  Táctico-Tactical Air Command
UM 2661 Escuadrón de Caza-Bombardeo                                 12 MiG-23BN, 2 MiG-23UB                                     Attack                         Santa Clara
UM           Escuadrón de Caza-Bombardeo                                 12 MiG-23BN, 2 MiG-23UB                                      Attack                        Santa Clara
UM 3684 Regimiento de Helicópteros
UM          Escuadrón de Helicópteros de Propósitos Generales                   12  Mi-8TB                                          Transport                           Cienfuegos
UM          Escuadrón de Helicópteros-Combate                                           12 Mi-24D                                             Attack                              Cienfuegos
UM          Escuadrón de Helicópteros-Combate                                           12 Mi-35                                                Attack                              Cienfuegos

 

Zona Aérea Oriente

3ª Brigada de la Guardia “Cuartel Moncada”

 

                                                

                    Unit                                                                              # Aircraft Type                                   Role                                     Air Base
UM 3685 Regimiento de Helicópteros            
UM          Escuadrón de Helicópteros de Propósitos Generales           12 Mi-17                                         Transport                                       Camaguey
UM          Escuadrón de Helicópteros de Propósitos Generales           12 Mi-17                                         Transport                                       Camaguey                           
Comando de Defensa Aerea-Air Defense Command                                                 
UM 1724  Regimiento de Intercepción                                                                                                                              
UM          Escuadrón de Caza                                                     12 MiG-23MF/ML, 2 MiG-23UB            AD/ Attack                                      Holguin
UM 3710 Escuadrón de Intercepción                                          12 MiG-21Bis, 2 MiG-21UM                  AD/Attack                                        Holguin
UM 3840 Escuadrón de Intercepción                                          12 MiG-21Bis, 2 MiG-21UM                  AD/Attack                                        Holguin

 

3.1. Role and Deployment

The role of the Revolutionary Air Force and Air Defense Force is to preserve the integrity of Cuban airspace, to give tactical and logistical support to the Revolutionary Army and Navy, and to provide such aviation services for civilian agencies as may be required.

The Western Air Zone is covered by the ‘Bay Of Pigs Guard Brigade’. This consists of:

  • A mixed combat squadron equipped with 2 MiG-29, 6 MiG-23ML and 5 MiG-21BIS based at San Antonio de los Baños, operating in the air defense role.
  • One helicopter squadron, based at San Antonio de los Baños, flying the 3-4 Mi-8/17 in the transport role and 3-4 Mi-35 in the troop support role.
  • A transport squadron, operating from Playa Baracoa, flying 3 An-24s for executive transport.
  • For training this unit counts with 1 MiG-29UB, 2 MiG-23UB, 2 MiG-21UM, 2 L-39C, and 4 Zlin-142.

The Central Air Zone is the responsibility of the ‘Batalla de Santa Clara Guard Brigade’. This consists of:

  • A helicopter squadron, flying the 4-6 Mi-8/17 in the transport role and 4-6 Mi-24/35 in the troop support role from Santa Clara.
  • An interception squadron flying about 5 MiG-21BIS in the air defense role from Santa Clara.
  • For training this unit counts with about 2 MiG-21UM and 2 L-39C.

The Eastern Air Zone is the responsibility of the ‘Cuartel Moncada Guard Brigade’. This consists of:

  • One general-purpose helicopter squadron, both flying 4-6 Mi-17 in the transport role from Holguin.
  • A mixed interception squadron flying the 4-6 MiG-21BIS and 4 MiG-23ML/MF in the air defense role from Holguin.
  • For training this unit counts with about 2 MiG-21UM and 2 L-39C.

 

3.2. Recent and Current Operations

The Revolutionary Air Force does not take part in peace support operations.

4. Command and control

The commander of the Revolutionary Air Force and Air Defense Forces ranks as a vice minister and reports directly to the chief of the General Staff. The Air Force commander ranks as an equal with the commanders of the Revolutionary Army and Navy. The Air Force commander controls the General Staff of the Revolutionary Air Force and Air Defense Forces, and exercises authority over a subordinate command structure, which is similar to that of the Army.

The Commander of the DAAFAR today is Brigade General Pedro J. Mendiono Gomez. He has been at that position since the year 2000, and his background is in Missiles Air Defense units.

The second in command of the DAAFAR is Brigade General Ramon Martinez Echeverria. His background is as a helicopter pilot and commander of the Helicopter Regiment at Cienfuegos and Camaguey.

The Coronel Felix Gustavo Alonzo Rodriguez is the actual commander of the Western Air Zone, ‘Bay Of Pigs Guard Brigade’.

5. Organization

The Revolutionary Air Force is divided into three territorial commands, known as air zones. Each zone contains an air brigade made up of a variable number of air regiments and independent squadrons. Each air regiment has had a minimum front-line strength of 30 aircraft, and the independent squadrons are of variable composition. The Air Force numbers approximately 8,000 men and women. A considerable percentage of these aircraft are not operational, while the efficacy of the remainder is limited by scarcity of fuel and replacement parts.

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