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Eastern Order of Battle

Soviet air regiments in Mongolia during the Cold War.
(in January 1, 1978)

After the 1968 Soviet-Chinese clashes, the Soviet Union marched into Mongolia. Mongolia was the ideal buffer state during the Cold War. From here the Chinese Beijing Military Region could be flank attacked. The 39th Soviet army - settled in Mongolia - was supported by two air divisions.

In the early seventies the 246th Fighter Air Division's old MiG-21PFS/PFM Fishbed-F types were replaced with new MiG-21bis Fishbed-L and MiG-23M Flogger-B tactical fighters. The new MiGs were much more modern than the Chinese fighters. A squadron of the released MiG-21PFM Fishbed-F fighters were handed over to the Mongolian People's Air Force.



Transbaikal Military District - Mongolian
23rd Tactical Air Army’s Order of Battle, in January 1, 1978
 

Soviet air regiments in Mongolia during the Cold War Order of Battle
Soviet air regiments in Mongolia during the Cold War map

 

The biggest battle value model was given the 43rd Fighter Bomber Air regiment. In 1974 15 pieces of early production Su-17 Fitter-Cs arrived from Lipetsk and Vozdvizhenka. Later they received more than twenty new production machines too. They used the Su-7U Moujik and MiG-15UTI Midget types as training machines.

Soviet 43th Fighter Bomber Air Regiment's early Su-17 Fitter-C Choibalsan, Mongolia Soviet 43th Fighter Bomber Air Regiment's early Su-17 Fitter-C Choibalsan, Mongolia

The Su-17 Fitter aircraft was considered equivalent with the Chinese MiG-19 Farmer than fighter. Therefore they gave quick reaction alert. Each standby Su-17 Fitter-C was two SPPU-23 gun pod suspended.

The 43rd Fighter Bomber Air Regiment lost five Su-17 Fitter-C between 1974 and 1979, from which four is known:

- Two collided before the flight.
- Training exercise, the exploding bomb's shrapnel shot it.
- One got a big overload during air combat training.

The oldest combat aircraft were deployed at Nalajh airport. The Mongolian People's Air Force's two squadrons and the Soviet 266th Fighter Bomber Air Regiment flew with MiG-17 Fresco-As and MiG-21PFM Fishbed-Fs. They used MiG-21UM Mongol-B and MiG-15UTI Midget in training.

Soviet 266th Fighter Bomber Air Regiment's MiG-21UM Mongol-B at Nalajh, Mongolia in 1977 Soviet 266th Fighter Bomber Air Regiment's MiG-21UM Mongol-B at Nalajh, Mongolia in 1977
Soviet 266th Fighter Bomber Air Regiment's MiG-15UTI Midget at Nalajh, Mongolia in 1976 Mongolian People's Air Force pilots front of theirs  MiG-21PFM Fishbed-F
Mongolian People's Air Force's MiG-21PFM Fishbed-F