Soviet Military Aviation -- Summary


  • Introduction (Overview)
  • VVS - Voenno-Vozdushmiy Sily (Air Forces)
  • VMF - Voenno-Morskoi Flota (Navy)
  • PVO - Protivo-Vozdushnoi Oborony (Air Defense Forces)
  • Raketnye Voiyska Strategicheskogo Naznacheniya (Rocket Forces)
  • Sukhoputnye Voiska (Ground Forces)
  • KGB, DOSAAF, Aeroflot (Paramilitary Aviation)
  • Introduction

    The Ground Forces (Sukhoputnye voiska), Air Forces (VVS), Air Defense Forces (Voyska protivovozdushnoy oboronystrany, PVO), Strategic Rocket Forces (RVS) and the Navy (VMF), were all under the control of the VGK (Verkhovnoye Glavnokomandovaniye = Supreme High Command) of the USSR, and were basically of equal importance.

    During wartime, the whole organization and command structure (would have) changed, though. The nuclear assets of the VVS, RVS and VMF would have been directly controlled by the VGK, while the other forces would have been controlled through TVs (Teatry Voyny = Theater/Regional Command) or TVDs (Teatry Voyennykh deystviy = Theater of Military Operation), including OTVDs (Okeanskiy TVD = Oceanic/Maritime TMO).

    The way the Cyrillic written names are transliterated to English has changed over the years, and may vary slightly from source to source.

    Back to Index

    VVS - Voenno-Vozdushmiy Sily

    The VVS [or V-VS] (Voenno-Vozdushmiy Sily = Military Aviation Forces) was the Soviet Air Force, which was comparable to the USAF in the USA, but also included Army aviation, but not Air Defense units. The following three autonomous commands existed:

    Back to Index

    VMF - Voenno-Morskoi Flota

    The VMF [or V-MF] (Voenno-Morskoi Flota = Military Marine Fleet/Navy), which was equivalent to the USN, was responsible for:

    Back to Index

    PVO - Protivo-Vozdushnoi Oborony

    The PVO [or P-VO] (Protivo-Vozdushnoi Oborony = National [Homeland] Air-Defense Forces), combined PVO-Strany (Strategic ADF) and PVO-Voysk (Ground Forces ADF) since 1978. In the USA the ANG, TAC, SAC, SPACECOM and Army shared its mission. The PVO included:

    Back to Index

    Raketnye Voiyska Strategicheskogo Naznacheniya (RVS)

    The 'RVS' (Raketnye Voiyska Strategicheskogo Naznacheniya = Strategic Rocket Forces, designated) were responsible for all SSMs, including ICBMs, IRBMs and MRBMs. In the USA, SAC and the US Army shared this responsibility.

    Back to Index

    Sukhoputnye Voiska

    The Ground Forces (Sukhoputnye Voiska) usually don't have aircraft, but: Back to Index

    KGB, DOSAAF, Aeroflot

    The KGB, which was also responsible for the Border Guards, had its own little air arm plus border guard helicopters.

    The paramilitary DOSAAF (Dobrovol'noe Obshchestvo Sodeistviya Armii, Avatsii i Flotu = Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Air Force and Navy) had a lot of glider and light planes.

    Aeroflot also operated, besides the GVF (Grazhdanskii Vozdushnii Flot = Civil Air Fleet), a lot of semi-military aircraft, not only for transport, but also weather, ELINT and PHOTINT reconnaissance, as well as research purposes.

    Back to Index

    (c) 1995 by Andreas Gehrs-Pahl