Georgian Air Force

Georgian Air Force
საქართველოს საჰაერო ძალები
sak’art’velos sahaero dzalebi
Georgian Air Force emblem
Active 1991–2010
Country  Georgia
Type Air force
Role Aerial warfare
Size 2,971 personnel, 59 aircraft
Garrison/HQ Alekseevka, Tbilisi
Engagements Georgian Civil War, Russo-Georgian War
Aircraft flown
Attack Mi-24, Su-25
Trainer Yak-52, L-39
Transport Mi-8, UH-1

The Georgian Air Force (Georgian: საქართველოს საჰაერო ძალები, sak’art’velos sahaero dzalebi) was the air force of the Georgian Armed Forces from its establishment in 1992 until 2010, when it was incorporated into the Georgian Land Forces. As of September 2009, the Georgian Air Force had 2,971 military and civilian personnel.[1]


The Georgian Air Force and Air Defense Division was established on January 1, 1992. On August 18, 1998, the two divisions were unified in a joint command structure and renamed the Georgian Air Force.[1]

The first combat flight was conducted by Izani Tsertsvadze and Valeri Nakopia on September 19, 1992, during the separatist war in Abkhazia. This date was later designated as the Georgian Air Force Day.[1] Relative to the Georgian ground forces, the air force was comparatively underfunded following Georgian independence. During the August 2008 war with Russia, Georgian aircraft were initially active, but were soon grounded by Russian air superiority. The Russians claimed at least 3 Su-25 and 2 L-29 destroyed.[2] The Georgian Ministry of Defense reported 5 air force personnel were killed in action.[3]

In 2010, the Georgian Air Force was reorganized. It was abolished as a separate branch and incorporated into the Georgian Land Forces as Air and Air Defense brigades.[4]

Reestablishment and modernisation

In 2012 the Georgian military with approval from government decided to reestablish the air force as its own arm in the military of Georgia. It will undergo a massive transformation and modernisation process, getting rid of almost its entire Soviet helicopter park to replace it with US and French aircraft. It was also announced by the ministry of defense that six Su-25 aircraft would be sold at an unknown date to add to the finances. As a result of the 2014 Wales summit, Georgia was granted a NATO military assistance package which includes the support in acquisition of military equipment from alliance members and partners practically lifting the unofficial arms ban on Georgia.

Commissioned officers

Georgian armed forcesO-1O-2O-3O-4O-5O-6O-7O-8O-9O-100-11
Title Second lieutenant Lieutenant First lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant colonel Colonel Brigadier general Major general Lieutenant general General
NATO Code OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9

Mission and objectives

The objectives of the Georgian Air Force are defined as follows:

  • Warfare and mobilization readiness of the Air Forces sub-units
  • Protection of sovereignty and control of the air space of Georgia
  • The fight against air terrorism
  • Participate in the fight against terrorism on land and at sea
  • Air defence of state entities and troops
  • Destruction of land and naval targets at the enemy's front line and tactical inmost. Providing air support for friendly land and naval forces
  • Participation in collective and multinational exercises.

Functions of the Georgian Air Forces:

  • Troop and cargo transportation
  • Search and rescue of downed aircraft and pilots
  • Informing the leadership of the Air Force and the Army about enemy air assaults
  • Destruction of enemy manpower, land and naval targets
  • Air forces landing
  • Aerial reconnaissance

The two major airfields are located near Tbilisi at Alekseevka and Marneuli.

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat aircraft
Sukhoi Su-25 Soviet Union CAS 11[5]
Antonov An-28 Ukraine transport 2[5]
Mil Mi-8 Soviet Union utility Mi-8/171 15[5]
Mil Mi-14 Soviet Union ASW / SAR 2[5]
Mil Mi-24 Soviet Union attack 9[5]
Bell UH-1 United States utility UH-1H 12[5]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Czech Republic trainer and light attack 4[5]
Aero L-29 Czech Republic trainer and light attack 4[5]


  1. 1 2 3 Defence Today 27: 1. September 2009. Accessed February 10, 2012.
  2. Georgian Air Force. The Global Security. Accessed February 10, 2012.
  3. List of Casualties among the Georgian Military Servicemen Archived June 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Ministry of Defense of Georgia. Accessed on February 10, 2012.
  4. Structure of Land Forces Archived 2013-11-05 at the Wayback Machine.. Ministry of Defense of Georgia. Accessed on February 10, 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "World Air Forces 2017". Flightglobal Insight. 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
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