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Original Soviet Union Cold War Era Soviet Air Forces Pilot Lot - 9 Items

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Grouping Available. This is a fantastic assortment of items as worn by Soviet pilots during the Cold War era. All items in the lot are in wonderful condition and appear to be without any extensive damage. The set includes flight gear such as coveralls, pouches and leather flight helmet. They are complete with various types of markings and years, still mostly visible.

A wonderful lot of items ready for further research and display.

The Soviet Air Forces were one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. The other was the Soviet Air Defence Forces. The Air Forces were formed from components of the Imperial Russian Air Service in 1917, and faced their greatest test during World War II. The groups were also involved in the Korean War, and dissolved along with the Soviet Union itself in 1991–92. Former Soviet Air Forces' assets were subsequently divided into several air forces of former Soviet republics, including the new Russian Air Force. "March of the Pilots" was its song.

Cold War
In 1945–46, the WPKA Army Air Forces became the Soviet Air Forces once again. Its capabilities increased, helped by Western transfer of technology: the downed Boeing B-29 Superfortresses in the Far East, and British transfer of Rolls-Royce Nene jet engines. The force became one of the best services of the Soviet Armed Forces due to the various types of aircraft being flown and their capabilities and the strength and training of its pilots. Its air defence arm became an independent component of the armed forces in 1949, reaching full-fledged force status in 1954 as the Soviet Air Defence Force.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Air Force was rearmed, strengthened and modern air doctrines were introduced. At its peak in 1980, it could deploy approximately 10,000 aircraft, making it the world's largest air force of the time.

The Soviet Air Force covertly participated in the Korean War. Twelve fighter divisions of 26,000 pilots participated in air-to-air combat with the U.S. and other Allied air forces, inflicting significant casualties. The 64th Fighter Aviation Corps supervised the Soviet interceptor forces. In order to keep their involvement a secret, Joseph Stalin ordered the Soviet Air Force MiG-15s participating in the conflict to fly with Korean People's Air Force and PLA Air Force markings, wear Chinese uniforms, and speak only Chinese phrases over radio in the air.

In 1977 the VVS and the Soviet Air Defence Forces were re-organised in the Baltic states and the Leningrad Oblast, as a trial run for the larger re-organisation in 1980 covering the whole country. All fighter units in the PVO were transferred to the VVS, the Air Defence Forces only retaining the anti-aircraft missile units and radar units. The 6th Independent Air Defence Army was disbanded, and the 15th Air Army became the Air Forces of the Baltic Military District. The experiment was then applied countrywide in 1980. Two of the three aviation schools in the Troops of National Air Defence were transferred to the Air Force.

Western analysts found that Soviet non-Slavs, including Jews, Armenians, and Asians were generally barred from senior ranks and from joining elite or strategic positions in the Air Force, Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Soviet Navy because of doubts regarding the loyalty of ethnic minorities. RAND analyst S. Enders Wimbush said, "Soldiers are clearly recruited in a way that reflects the worries of society. The average Russian citizen and Soviet decision maker have questions about the allegiance of the non-Slav, especially the Central Asian."

During the Cold War the VVS was divided into three main branches: Long Range Aviation(DA), with long-range bombers; Frontal Aviation (Frontovaya Aviatsiya – FA), focused on battlefield air defence, close air support, and interdiction; and Military Transport Aviation (Voenno-Transportnaya Aviatsiya – VTA), which controlled all transport aircraft. The Soviet Air Defence Force, which operated interceptor aircraft and surface to air missiles, was then a separate and distinct service within the Soviet military organisation. Yet another independent service was the Soviet Navy's air arm, the Soviet Naval Aviation under the Navy Headquarters.

The official day of VVS was the Soviet Air Fleet Day, that often featured notable air shows meant to display Soviet air power advancements through the years, held in Moscow's Tushino airfield.

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