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The final instalment of the Libyan Aviation Exhibition, LAVEX, was held at Tripoli-Mitiga in 2009. Before the uprising that left the country divided and in turmoil. Aviagraphers were there and here is a pictorial impression of what once was a potent air force.

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The mighty MiG-25 was withdrawn from use already. Many remained stored in the open air though, spread over three bases.

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In 2009 the refurbishment of the Mirage F1 fleet was in full swing.

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For years, advanced training and light attack was performed with the L-39ZA, like this 1938 featured in the static.

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The daily aerial exhibition of the Albatross was nice and low, as 1944 demonstrates here.

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Fighter-bombers usually were sourced in the former Soviet Union, as is witnessed by one of various types of the Su-22 flown.This 311 is a Su-22M.

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Primary training was carried out with the Siai-Marchetti SF.260WL.

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At LAVEX, these were used to fly formation aerobatics.

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All four Warriors present are seen here lined up before starting up for departure back to their home base.

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Other formations included a three ship MiG-23/Mirage F1 combo and a duo of MiG-23s. Backlit and far away alas. The two seat aircraft unfortunately crashed during the show week.

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Apart from the MiG-23s and Mirage that flew, these types were also represented on the static display.

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Few air forces flew the An-124, technically 5A-DKL was on charge with Libyan Air Cargo.

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Just like the fleet of Il-76s, the white one is an Il-76TD with Libyan Air Cargo titles, and the green-tailed Il-76T wears Jamahiria Air Transport titles.

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Impression shot of the cargo ramp where aircraft were actively operating from during LAVEX.

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The Air Force operated a mixed fleet of Antonov 26 and 32 transports. This An-32P 5A-DRC is modified for aerial firefighting...

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...whereas 'regular' An-26 8212/5A-DOD was used for transport.

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C-130H 118 was just refurbished in Portugal at the time. It is believed to be operated by Libyan Dawn AF nowadays.

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Libya also used the L-100-30, like this 5A-DOM, later seen with a 'Free Libya' flag painted on its tail.

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VIP aircraft of choice is the Il-62M, 5A-DNY is stored now.

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Various Meridionali-built Chinooks were seen. This olive drab LC-010 was just refurbished.

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This aptly camouflaged refuelling truck was busy at the end of the show to fuel up the static aircraft before their departure.

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Brand new at the time was this An-74TK-300D. L-410UVP-E 2008 was also first noted in Libya at LAVEX 2009.

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The Libyan Police was in the process of receiving a fleet of AgustaWestland helicopters. This AW109 5A-DTL is fully kitted out for aerial surveillance.

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Air cavalry can best be tasked to the Mi-24. Libya operated a variety of these, this is a Mi-35 delivered in the late eighties. It departed at sunset. Meanhwile it has been shot down by one of the rivalling factions.

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This Mi-171E 2861 is in Medevac configuration. It has Ambulance titles.

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The venerable Mi-8T was the workhorse then; and this 8230 was later also used by the Free Libyan AF.

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Fresh from recent overhaul is this Mi-14. It flew throughout the show week.

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Less pristine is this long row of stored Mi-14s and Mi-8s near the Eastern threshold. Some of these are still there and it somehow sums up the current state of the aerial assets of this troubled country.