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Eastern Order of Battle

Soviet 5th Training Center in Frunze
Between 1956 and 1992

The Frunze Military Aviation School began to train pilots from foreign countries in 1956. The first 15 pilots were taught on Yak-11, Yak-18 and MiG-15 Fagot models. The school was renamed in 1959 to 5th Training Center and the improvement of Aviation Personnel. At the edge of Central Asian deserts and rugged valleys of Tien Shan mountains, far from everything were the foreign pilots trained. It was believed that the Soviet Union secrets can be best preserved this way.

In 1962 started the training to the new super-secret MiG-21 Fishbed type at the school of Frunze. The experienced pilots of friendly countries (Finland, India, and the Arab States) were trained at the Lugovoy 715th regiment. The pilots of allied Warsaw Pact countries weren’t trained here but at the North Caucasus Krasnodar school.

Finnish pilots retraining to MiG-21F-13 Fishbed-C in Lugovoy air base in 1962. Photo: Timo Lehtiö

Finnish pilots retraining to MiG-21F-13 Fishbed-C in Lugovoy air base in 1962. Photo: Timo Lehtiö

Arabic pilots and theirs MiG-21 Fishbed training jet at the 5th Training Centre

Arabic pilots and theirs MiG-21 Fishbed training jet at the 5th Training Center

 

The main task of the school was the training of novice pilots based on inter-state agreements. In the sixties, mainly young Arab pilots were trained to L-29 Delfin and MiG-21 Fishbed models. At Tokmak, Kant and Novotroitsk airport the 716th, 322nd and the 349th Training Air Regiment only did basic training. Combat training was not given to the pilots. They should have received that at home after arrival.

The Frunze school students after graduation became leading politician, or Air Force commanders. Example, Hafez al-Assad - Syrian statesman, Ahmed Julen – Yemen Air Force commander, Joao Bernardo – Mozambique AF commander, Rakesh Sharma – Indian astronaut and other people.

5th Traing Center order of battle map

 

Three Egyptian pilots and theirs L-29 Delfin trainer aircrafts

Three Egyptian pilots and theirs L-29 Delfin trainer aircrafts
Photo: Group 73 Exclusive

Young Arabic pilot in front of his L-29 Delfin trainer in the Soviet union

Young Arabic pilot in front of his L-29 Delfin trainer in the Soviet union

 

Young Egyptian pilot in front of his MiG-21PF Fishbed-D fighters in the late sixties Photo: Group 73 Exclusive

Young Egyptian pilot in front of his MiG-21PF Fishbed-D fighters in the late sixties Photo: Group 73 Exclusive

Egyptian students and their MiG-21 Fishbed fighter trainer fighters in the Soviet union Photo: Group 73 Exclusive

Egyptian students and theirs MiG-21 Fishbed fighter trainer fighters in the Soviet union Photo: Group 73 Exclusive

 

MiG-21 Fishbed basic training at the 5th Center

 

The training of helicopter pilots also began in the sixties. First, they used Mi-4 Hound, later Mi-8 Hip models.

African students with theirs soviet trainers in front of Mi-8T helicopter Photo: Kursanty

African students with theirs soviet trainers in front of Mi-8T helicopter Photo: Kursanty

Yemeni student in the classroom behind them Mi-24D, Mi-24A nad Mi-8 instrument panels tableaux

Yemeni student in the classroom behind them Mi-24D, Mi-24A and Mi-8 instrument panels tableaux

 

Ethiopians Air Force crews in the Soviet union.

Ethiopians Air Force crews in the Soviet union.

Three young Libyan students with theirs Soviet trainers in front of Mi-8T helicopter Photo: Kursanty

Three young Libyan students with theirs Soviet trainers in front of Mi-8T helicopter Photo: Kursanty

 

An-26 training cargo aircaft in Tokmak airport Two soviet An-26 training cargo aircafts in Tokmak airport

Since the early seventies, An-26 Curl crew training was also conducted. Every of the five crew members (pilots, radio operator, navigator and flight engineer) to the An-26 Curl were trained at the 5th Training Air Center.

The pictures were taken at the airport of Tokmak from An-26 Curl in 1974.

Soviet MiG-23BN Flogger-H at Lugovaya AB in eighties

Soviet MiG-23BN Flogger-H in Lugovaya AB in the eighties

Polish pilot with MiG-23UB Flogger-C at Lugovaya air base in 1979

Polish pilot with MiG-23UB Flogger-C in Lugovaya air base in 1979

 

In the seventies, training began to MiG-23 Flogger fighter/ bomber aircraft and Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter type at the 5th Center. Training for these types only happened here for the third world and Warsaw Pact pilots.
 
In 1974 they began to retrain the Arab pilots to MiG-23MS Flogger-E fighter and MiG-23BN Flogger-H bomber types. From 1978 the retraining of the Warsaw Pact pilots began to MiG-23MF Flogger-B type at the 715th Training Air Regiment at the airport of Lugovoy.
 
From 1978 the Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter training began at the 714th Training Helicopter Regiment at Frunze-1 airport.

Young Hungarian pilots and Soviet trainers in front of theirs Mi-24DU Hind-D trainer combat helicopter in Frunze-1 AB in eighties.. Photo: Zombor Istvan

Young Hungarian pilots and Soviet trainers in front of theirs Mi-24DU Hind-D trainer combat helicopter in Frunze-1 AB in eighties.

 

Mig-23 Flogger conversion training school at Lugovoy. Part one.

 

Young Hungarian pilots and his soviet trainer in front of theirs L-39C Albatros in Tokmak air base in 1984

In the early eighties, along with many Third World pilots, for a short time German and Hungarian pilots took part in basic flying training too. The first two years they were flying with L-39 Albatros at Tokmak airport. Then they were transferred to Krasnodar Flight School were where they flew with MiG-21bis Fishbed-L/N models.
 
Many of the young German pilots returned to the 5th Training Center after graduation. They received retraining to MiG-23BN Flogger-H bombers from the 715th Air Training Regiment at Lugovoy airport.

 

Hungarian pilots in Tokmak Airbase

 



 

Young Hungarian pilots and his soviet trainer in front of theirs L-39C Albatros in Tokmak air base in 1984

 

The airport of Novotroitsk was renovated from 1984, therefore the 349th Training Air Regiment used Kant and Lugovoy Airport. The reconstruction was slow, it didn't finish until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The regiments pilot and machine portfolio changed on demand. In 1986, for example, they trained the Indian Mi-26 Halo crew here.
 
In 1985 started the training for the MiG-29 Fulcrum type. In the eighties, only the 715th regiment trained foreign pilots for the MiG-29 Fulcrum!

5th Traing Center order of battle in late eighties

  * The squadron number are only estimated
** There is no exact information

Soviet 5th Training Air Center Ethiopian, Yemen and Zimbabwe pilots in Kant airbase  Photo: Fomicheva A.P.

Soviet 5th Training Center Ethiopian, Yemen and Zimbabwe pilots in Kant airbase Photo: Fomicheva A.P.

 

Open day in Kant airbase  Photo: Fomicheva A.P. Open day in Kant airbase  Photo: Fomicheva A.P.

 

In the second half of the eighties, pilots arrived especially from the conflict zones and Sub-Saharan Africa for basic flying training. A lot of pilots from Cuba, Angola, Ethiopia, and Yemen studied at Kant and Tokmak airport. At the 716th, 322nd, 349th Training Air Regiments and the 714th Training Helicopter Regiment they learned to fly and navigate at basic level on L-39C Albatros, MiG-21MF Fishbed-J and MiG-21bis Fishbed-L/N aircraft and Mi-8 Hip helicopters.

At that time, more than a hundred interpreters were working in the 5th Training Center.

Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze
Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze
Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze
Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in 1987
Air Force Congo’s crews in the Soviet Union in 1987

Air Force Congo’s crews in the Soviet Union in 1987

Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze Photo: Vasiliev GS
Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze
Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze in 1985
Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze in 1986
Cuban Air Force’s crews in the 5th Training Center in 1988

Cuban Air Force’s crews in the 5th Training Center in 1988

 

Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze
Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center young Angolan  pilot

Angolan Air Force’s student in the Soviet Union in 1987

Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center in Frunze in 1988
Soviet 5th Tactical Air Center Yemen pilots in 1987

Yemeni and Soviet Air Force’s crews in 5th Training Center in 1987

 

Between 1957 and 1992, the school trained 21 682 people from 54 countries to 110 different fields of study. Among others 5698 pilots, 749 navigators, 469 combat control officer, 165 air gunner, 8998 radio operator-navigator and more than 5,000 other aircrews.

The training terminated in 1992. The Soviet 5th Training Center disbanded in early nineties.