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Eastern Order of Battle

Bulgarian Air Defence and Air Forceís
Tactical Air Units
in January 1, 1973

In 1970, the Bulgarian Air Defence and Air Force air regiments organization were redesigned. Previously the regiment consisted of three squadrons, each with 12 combat aircraft. From 1970 onwards, the regiments consisted of two fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons. Each squadron used an average of 18 combat aircraft.

Bulgarian Air Force order of battle map
Bulgarian Air Force order of battle in 1973
Bulgarian Air Force MiG-21M Fished-J Source: Retrospotters
Bulgarian Air Force order of battle in 1973

 19th Fighter Air Regimentís MiG-21M Fishbed-J    
fighter. Source: Retrospotters         

The 10th Composite Air Corps bought two new variants of MiG-21s in the late sixties. The 19th Fighter Air Regiment got 15 pieces of MiG-21M Fishbed-J and the 26th Air Reconnaissance Regiment got six MiG-21R Fishbed-H variant.

The Bulgarian Air Forceís tactical fighter units in the early seventies.


Bulgarian Air Forceís 22nd Fighter Bomber Aviation Regiment MiG-17 Fresco at Bezmer

Bulgarian Air Force MiG-21R Fished-H Source: Retrospotters

 In addition to the old, slow MiG-15 and IL-28 reconnaissance aircraft a new more modern type was required. Therefore in 1969 six MiG-21R model arrived from the Soviet Union. For recce missions, the MiG-21R could carry a Type D daylight PHOTINT pod, a Type N nighttime PHOTINT pod, a Type R general-purpose ELINT pod or a Type T pod housing a TV system, making the MiG-21R one of the first Soviet recce aircraft to make use of ELINT equipment.
 In addition to the small number of MiG-21R Fishbed-H, they received additional MiG-21F-13 Fishbed-C type from Graf Ignatievo. These early MiG-21s were used as a training machines equipped with AFA-39 reconnaissance camera.

     Bulagrian MiG-21R Fished-H with reco pod.
             source: Retrospotters

Bulgarian Air Force IL-28R Beagle Source: Retrospotters

Bulgarian IL-28R Beagle reconnaissance aircraft. Source: Retrospotters

Bulgarian Air Force Mig-15bisR Fagot-B Source: Retrospotters

26th Air Reconnaissance Regimentís old MiG-15bisR Fagot-B type. Source: Retrospotters

The transport helicopter flying forces were reinforced with ten Mi-8T Hip-C and two Mi-8P Hip-C medium transport helicopter starting from 1969.

They also received Mi-2 Hoplite type for educational purposes. The old Mi-4 Hound were merged into two squadrons. In addition to the green colored Mi-8 Hip, new Mi-2 Hoplite trainer aircraft arrived from Poland.

Bulgarian Air Force Mi-8T Hip-C Source: Retrospotters

Bulgarian Air Force received ten Mi-8T Hip-C transport helicopters. Source: Retrospotters

Bulgarian Air Force Mi-8T Hip-C Source: Retrospotters

44th Helicopter Air Regimentís Mi-8T medium helicopter.  Source: Retrospotters

Photos: Retrospotters

Bulgarian Air Force, VVS, Cold War, Warsaw Pact, 10th Composite Air Corps, Plovdiv, 19th Fighter Air Regiment, Graf Ignatievo, MiG-21M Fishbed-J, MiG-19PM Farmer-E, MiG-19S Farmer-C, 21st Fighter Air Regiment, Uzundzhovo, MiG-17F Fresco-C, MiG-17PF Fresco-D, 22nd Fighter Bomber Air Regiment, Bezmer, MiG-17 Fresco-A, 25th Fighter Bomber Air Regiment, Cheshnegirovo, MiG-17 Fresco-A, 44th Helicopter Air Regiment, Plovdiv, Krumovo, Mi-4 Hound, Mi-8T Hip-C, Mi-2 Hoplite, 16th Transport Air Regiment, Dobroslavtzi, IL-14 Crate, An-24 Coke, Li-2 Cab, 26th Reconnaissance Air Regiment, Dobrich, MiG-15bisR Fagot-B, MiG-15bis Fagot-B, IL-28R Beagle, IL-28 Beagle, MiG-21R Fishbed-H, MiG-21F-13 Fishbed-C

Военновъздушни сили, ВВС, Военновъздушни сили на Република България, 10-и САК, 10-и Смесен авиационен корпус, Варшавски договор, Студена война, 19-ти изтребителен авиополк, 19-и ИАП, Граф Игнатиево, МиГ-19С, МиГ-21МФ, МиГ-21УС, МиГ-19ПМ, 21-ви изтребителен авиополк, 19-и ИАП, Узунджово, МиГ-17ПФ, МиГ-17Ф, МиГ-15УТИ, 22-ри изтребително-бомбардировъчен авиополк, 22-ри ИБАП, Безмер, МиГ-17, МиГ-15УТИ, 25-ти изтребителн-бомбардировъчен авиополк, 25-и ИБАП, Чешнегирово, МиГ-17, МиГ-15УТИ, 26-ти разузнавателен авиополк, 26-и РАП, Толбухин, Добрич, МиГ-21Р, МиГ-15бисР, МиГ-15бис, МиГ-21Ф-13, Ил-28Р, Ил-28, 44-ти вертолетен авиополк, 44-ти ВАП, Крумово, Пловдив, Ми-8т, Ми-4, Ми-4а, Ми-2, 2-ри учебно-боен авиополк, 2-ри УАБ, Каменец, МИГ- 15, МИГ- 15УТИ, МИГ-17, 1-ри учебна авиобаза, 1-УАБ, Долна Митрополия, Щръклево, L-29