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MKD 19The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia operates a small aerial component. Let us look into what they had on strength back in 2007.

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The Su-25 was kept operational in the early years of this century, and later they were held in reserve for some time. Here Su-25UBK 120 is being aired.

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Ukraine supplied four Shturmoviks in total during 2001, with the other three being present as well. Numbers 121, 122, and 123 to be exact.

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Another nickname of the Su-25 is Grach (Грач). Rook is not the sexiest of birds, it scavenges close to the ground.

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Mainstay of the helicopter fleet of the Avio Bataljon is, of course, the venerable Mi-8 operated in many different types. Parent unit of these is the 301 Transporten Helikopter Eskadrila (301 транспортен хеликоптер ескадрила). They are part of the EUFOR European rapid reaction force.



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This was aptly demonstrated to us with fast roping a group of soldiers, that subsequently secured the landing zone...

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...after which they were picked up again by the same Mi-8MTV-2 serial 308.

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Newer variants of the type include the Mi-17, VAM-303 is seen here in a new attractive colour scheme. More recently, Mi-171E were obtained to augment the fleet.

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MKD 24An example of the equipment received later on by the transport helicopter squadron is this former Greek Army Huey, 321. It sports the badge of the Aviation Bataljon.

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MKD 23Usually, when the Mi-8 is operated, the Mi-24 is not far away. The 201 Borben Helikopterski Eskadrila (201 борбен хеликоптерски ескадрила) is their unit.

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This is one of two Mi-24Ks sourced in the Ukraine, serial 212.

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Others are 'regular' Mi-24V, like this one, 209, standing on alert. More airframes were awaiting overhaul and return to service. The other Mi-24K, 211 was one of them.

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MKD 25Over to the fixed wing assets. They do not number many. Training is done with  five surviving Zlin 242L (Z3-DCT is now serialled 105) and a single Zlin 143L, Z3-DCS. The name and number plate of the fixed wing was probably 101 aviation squadron at the time (101 воздухопловна бригада), as this badge seems to show. It is now thought to be called the Training Flight (Flajt za Obuka i Trening) and with it, they adopted a new badge too.

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This immaculate An-2 was operational during our visit. However, is has since been grounded having not met its overhaul intervals. Nonetheless, there is no better way to end this post we think!