Air Defense Forces: History of Education and Tasks

Air defense forces are a separate branch of the Ground Forces, the main task of which is to cover the troops and military facilities from the actions of enemy air attacks when they are introduced by combined arms and military operations, marching (regrouping) and locating.


The main tasks of the air defense forces

  1. The application of combat duty to ensure air defense.
  2. Intelligence for the presence of an air enemy and timely notification of covered troops.
  3. Destruction of enemy air attack weapons in flight.
  4. Participation in missile defense in theaters of operations.

What are the air defense troops?


The air defense forces of the SV organizationally consist of military command and control bodies, missile and artillery (anti-aircraft), air defense command posts and radio technical formations, military units and subunits. They can destroy air attack weapons in the entire range of flight speeds and altitudes: up to 200 meters - extremely low, from 200 to 1000 meters - small, from 1000 to 4000 meters - medium, from 4000 to 12 meters - large, over 000 meters - in the stratosphere).


Military units, subunits and air defense missile units are equipped with different channels, reach, and methods of guiding missiles with anti-aircraft missile systems, anti-aircraft cannon-missile systems (complexes), anti-aircraft artillery and portable anti-aircraft missile systems. Depending on the range of damage, they are divided into complexes:

  • long-range - more than a hundred kilometers;
  • medium range - up to one hundred kilometers;
  • short range - up to thirty kilometers;
  • short-range - up to ten kilometers.

The subsequent development of the air defense forces is carried out by increasing the survivability, mobility, secrecy of work, fire performance, degree of automation, expanding the parameters of the affected area, reducing the response time and mass-dimensional indicators of missile-artillery (anti-aircraft missile) complexes.


Air Defense History


The date of formation is the date of creation of the Petrograd air defense system, namely 8 December (25 November) 1914.


  • 1930 was the first Air Defense Directorate (since 1940, the General Directorate).

  • 1941 g. - Air defense forces were formed.

  • 1948 g. - the removal of air defense forces from the subordination of the commander of artillery and converted into a separate type of armed forces.

  • 1954 - the high command of the Air Defense Forces was formed.

  • 1978, the C-300PT transportable ground-to-ground missile system was put into service (it replaced the old analogs of the 3PC C-25, C-75 and C-125).

  • The middle of the 80-x - the C-300PT grounded complex has undergone numerous upgrades, as a result, having received the designation C-300PT-1.

  • 1982 - a new version of the C-300PT air defense system, the C-300PS (self-propelled complex) with a record deployment time of five minutes making it difficult to attack the enemy, has been put into service.

  • 1987 was not the best in the history of the air defense forces. On May 28, Mathias Rust’s plane landed on Red Square in Moscow (on 18.55). This clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of the legal framework for the actions of the duty forces of the Air Defense Forces. That is, it became obvious that the tasks assigned to the Air Defense Forces were not met. Then, many of the military were removed from their posts: three Marshals of the Soviet Union suffered (among them, Sokolov SL, Koldunov AI), as well as about 300 generals and officers. The army did not know such personnel pogrom since 1937 of the year. 

  • 1991 - Air Defense Forces, in connection with the collapse of the USSR, were transformed into Russian Air Defense Forces.

  • 1993, the C-300PS - C-300 PM was put into service.

  • 1997 g. - entered service with 3RS C-300MP2 "Favorite".

  • Before 2000, many types of armed forces were reorganized, the number of which was reduced from 5 to 3. All this is due to the acceleration of the physical aging of military equipment and weapons. Within the framework of the organization, two types of armed forces were merged - the Air Defense Forces and the Air Force.

  • 1998, based on the control of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces, formed the headquarters of the Air Force and the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, while the Air Force and Air Defense forces were merged into a new type, the Air Force. At that time, the Air Defense Forces consisted of: operational-strategic formation, two operational, four operational-tactical formations, five air defense corps, ten air defense divisions, 25 fighter regiments, 63 parts of anti-aircraft missile troops, 35 parts of radio electronic troops combat, 5 parts and intelligence compounds. They were armed with 6 airplanes of the A-20 airborne radar and guidance aircraft, more 50 air defense fighters, 700 radio engineering units with radar stations of various modifications and more 420 anti-aircraft missile divisions. As a result of all the events, a new organizational structure of the Air Force was created. Instead of air armies, air defense and air force armies were formed, operatively subordinated to the commander of the military districts.

  • 2005 - 2006 - Part of the formations and units of the air defense forces equipped with the BK systems and the C-300В anti-aircraft missile systems were handed over to the Air Force.

  • 2007. The Triumph C-400 anti-aircraft missile system entered the Air Force, the main task of which is to defeat all modern and promising means of air and space attack.

  • 2008 g. - At this point, the Air Force consisted of: operational-strategic alliances (KSpN), 5 operational-tactical and 8 operational associations (air defense corps), 165 parts and 15 connections. This year, the transition began to form a new image of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (including the Air Force). As a result, the Air Force moved to another organizational structure. Formed commands of air defense and air forces, subordinate to the recently created operational-strategic commands: Eastern (headquarters in Khabarovsk), Central (Yekaterinburg), Southern (Rostov-on-Don) and Western (St. Petersburg).

  • 2009-2010 - the transition to a two-level control system of the Air Force (the system was called the brigade-battalion). As a result, the total number of air force connections was reduced from 8 to 6, all air defense connections (4 corps and 7 divisions) were reorganized into 11 aerospace defense brigades.

  • 2011 year three brigades of air defense troops of the operational-strategic command of aerospace defense became part of the new type of troops - the troops of the East Kazakhstan region.

  • 2015 Year The Armed Forces of the East Kazakhstan region united with the Air Force and a new type was formed - Air and Space Forces. They included organizationally identified a new type of troops - the Air Defense Forces - PRO (Air Defense Forces and Missile Defense Forces). Air defense and missile defense are represented by a combination of anti-missile and air defense. 

In the framework of the subsequent development and improvement of the air defense system, the creation of a new generation 3PC C-500 is now underway, which implies the use of the principle of separately solving problems of the destruction of aerodynamic and ballistic targets. The main task of the complex is to fight with combat equipment of medium-range ballistic missiles, and, if necessary, with intercontinental ballistic missiles in the final segment of the trajectory, and to some extent, in the middle segment.

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The main development prospects of the Air Defense Forces


The main areas that the development of modern air defense forces is aimed at are as follows:

  • Reorganization and change of all structures in one degree or another associated with air defense. The main task of the reorganization is to maximize the use of combat power and all the resources of missile weapons entering service. Another key task is to maximize the interaction of the air defense forces with the other groups of the Russian army.
  • The development of military equipment and weapons of the new generation, which will confront not only the existing means of air attack, but also further developments in the field of hypersonic technology.
  • Improving and changing training systems. Special attention should be paid to changing the training program, since it has not changed for many years, despite the fact that the new air defense systems have long been in service.


As before, the priority remains to carry out the planned development of the latest models of air defense, the modernization of older and complete replacement of obsolete air defense systems. Generally speaking, the development of a modern air defense system proceeds in accordance with the words of the great marshal Zhukov, who declared that only a powerful air defense system could repel the enemy’s sudden attacks, thereby enabling the Armed Forces to engage in full-scale combat.

air defense

According to experts in the 2018, the integrated air defense system of the Russian Federation is the most powerful and advanced in the world, and the airspace of Russia is a minefield. Also, experts note the special accuracy and mobility of the Russian air defense systems.


The Day of the Air Defense Forces in Russia is celebrated annually on the second Sunday of April.

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