Hungarian Air Force

Operator Profile


Narrative Summary

Following Hungarian independence in November 1918, a small air arm was established operating surviving aircraft from Hungarian factories and training schools. This air arm became the Hungarian Red Air Force under the short lived Hungarian Soviet Republic, but was disbanded upon its downfall.
Under the Versailles Treaty, Hungary was forbidden from owning military aircraft. However, a secret air arm was gradually established under the cover of civilian flying clubs. During 1938 the existence of the air force was made known. The air arm was reorganised and expanded. On 1st January 1939 it became independent of the army. It subsequently participated in clashes with the newly established Slovak Republic and in the border confrontation with Romania. On 1st March 1942 the air force was returned to army control. In April 1941, operations were conducted in support of the German invasion of Yugoslavia and on 27 June 1941 Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union. In the summer of 1942 and air brigade was attached to the Luftwaffe’s VIII Fliegerkorps on the Eastern Front. From March 1944 Allied bomber raids began on Hungary and progressively increased in intensity. Late in 1944 all efforts were redirected towards countering the advancing Soviet Army, but to no avail. All fighting in Hungary ended on 16th April 1945.
A small air arm was organised along Soviet lines during 1947. Following the communist takeover, Russian military aid was stepped-up and a major expansion programme initiated. When Soviet forces invaded in November 1956, to suppress the national uprising, sections of the Hungarian Air Force attacked Soviet forces and resisted Russian attempts to occupy their bases. The resistance was shortlived and the air force was demobilised soon after. A reconstituted air arm was reformed in the following year, but initially only as an internal security force. Gradually, the air force was expanded again, but it remained an integral part of the army and was essentially a defensive force. During the 1990’s all combat aircraft were fitted with new IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems to enable operations in western airspace. In April 2002 Hungary joined the NFTC pilot training programme in Canada.

Key Dates:
1947    Hungarian Air Force re-established
1952    First jet aircraft delivered – Yak-23
1956    Air Force disbanded following Hungarian Uprising
1957    New Hungarian Air Force formed as part of the Army
1960    First helicopters received – Mi-1

Current Status

To be added

Future Plans

None known at present.


National Insignia

National Insignia

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Hungarian military serial numbering system consists of a two, three or four figure number taken from part of the aircraft’s individual construction number, e.g. MiG-17PF 403.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service


Main Headquarters

Ministry of Defence, Batalon U.7/11,1055 Budapest, V.

Organisational Structure

The flying units of the air force are organised into a single command, Air Command. The main unit is the Ezred (Regiment) or Osztaly (Wing) with between two and five Szàzad (Squadron) each.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air bases currently used are Kecskemét, Szolnok and Pápa.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

In addition to the main bases, there are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information


Hungarian Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.


World Air Power Journal No.3 p.150
World Air Power Journal No.14 p.148
Air Forces Monthly June 1997


Hungarian Defence Forces Official Website

wikipedia: Hungarian Air Force

Scramble: Hungarian Air Force

Air-Britain Photos: Hungarian Air Force

Hungarian Air Force

Hungarian Air Force Aircraft in 1956

National Insignia Changes

National Markings
Hungarian Air Force

National Markings

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Hungarian Air Force since its formation:

Main MarkingFin Flash
When the Hungarian Air Force was re-established on 14 April 1948, it adopted a new marking that consisted of a green disc inside a white triangle on a red disc – similar to the modern Lebanese marking but with a smaller green disc. The national colours were carried as horizontal fin and/or rudder stripes.

Main MarkingFin Flash

On 15 November 1949 a new roundel was adopted, to indicate the shift to communist rule. This consisted of a red star within green and red rings – similar to the North Korean marking, but with green instead of blue. The same roundel was used on the fin in place of the traditional stripes.

Main MarkingFin Flash

For the remainder of the communist era, the main marking consisted of a red star with a white and green roundel in the centre. It was displayed on the fuselage sides and above and below each wing, and also on the fin on aircraft. During the Hungarian Uprising of October 1956 the Hungarian flag was painted over the red stars on some rebel aircraft.

Main MarkingFin Flash

Upon the fall of the communist regime at the end of 1990, the main marking was replaced by a chevron marking within a disc.

Main MarkingFin Flash

Low Visibility Variation

On 31 January 1991 the traditional pre-war chevron marking was re-introduced. The main marking is displayed on the fuselage sides of the helicopters, and in the standard four wing positions and on the tail fin on aircraft. Aircraft do not carry service titles.

Current Aircraft Inventory
Hungarian Air Force

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Antonov An-26 4 4 0 Transport
Boeing C-17A Globemaster III 3 3 0 Transport
Mil Mi-8T ‘Hip’ 15 8 0 Utility
Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ 7 7 0 Utility
SAAB JAS 39 Gripen C 12 12 0 Fighter-Bomber
SAAB JAS 39 Gripen D 2 2 0 Trainer


Aircraft Not Used
Hungarian Air Force

Aircraft Types NOT Used

This page gives details of some of the aircraft types that were offered or promised to the Hungarian Air Force but not delivered, cancelled official orders, and types have been falsely reported as being in service.

Aero L-159
It was reported that two L-159s were to be leased from the Czech Republic to serve as advanced trainers for Gripen pilots from 2005. This lease did not occur.

Antonov An-24RV
Only the An-24B version was operated.

Antonov An-30
This aircraft type was not used.

Cessna 337 Super Skymaster
1 Reims-built aircraft reported to be used 1975-1982.

Douglas DC-3
1 aircraft reported to be used 1951-1957. The civil airline Malev operated HA-TSA, the only known DC-3/C-47 in Hungary. It did not see Air Force service.

Ilyushin Il-12
10 aircraft reported to be used by 1976. None were used in Hungary.

Mikoyan MiG-9 Fargo
Some aircraft reported to be used 1951-1957. The Yak-23 was used instead.

Mikoyan MiG-17U
Only the Chinese built a MiG-17 two-seat trainer, and none served in Hungary.

Mikoyan MiG-21PFM Fishbed F
30+ aircraft reported to be used 1966-1988.

Mikoyan MiG-21R Fishbed H
Some aircraft reported to be used.

Mikoyan MiG-21SMB/SMT Fishbed K
100 aircraft reported to be used 1971-1993.

Mikoyan MiG-23BM Flogger F
4 aircraft reported to be used 1980-1981.

Mraz M.1C Sokol
Some aircraft reported to be used from 1950. None appear to have reached Hungary.

PZL PZL-130TB Turbo-Orlik
12 a/c reportedly ordered in 1993. None delivered.

Scottish Aviation Bulldog
It was reported that 26 Swedish aircraft would be brought for pilot training. In fact they were purchased by the Hungarian company AVIA-Rent for private use.

Sukhoi Su-7B Fitter A
The Su-7 was not operated by the Hungarian Air Force.

Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot
16 Su-25K and 4 Su-25UK reportedly operated 1991-1997, they were actually Soviet AF based in Hungary.

Tupolev Tu-124 Cookpot
Some aircraft reported to be used until 1975. No military or civil Tu-124s were used in Hungary.

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Hungarian Air Force

of the Hungarian Air Force
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aero Ae-45 Super Aero 2 1949 1957 Czechoslovakia
Aero L-29 Delfin 18 1964 1984 Czechoslovakia
Aero L-39ZO Albatros 20 1994 2009 Luftwaffe
Antonov An-2M Colt 12 1953 1988 USSR
Antonov An-2P Colt ? 1982? 1988 Poland
Antonov An-24B Coke 2 1968 1992 USSR
Antonov An-26 Curl 11 1974 current USSR
Arado Ar 96B 30 1949 1954 Czechoslovakia
Boeing C-17A Globemaster III 3 2009 current USA
Ilyushin Il-2 ? 1947 1952 USSR
Ilyushin Il-10 159 1949 1956 USSR/Czechoslovakia
Ilyushin Il-10U 14 1949 1956 USSR/Czechoslovakia
Ilyushin Il-14P Crate 2 1959 1976 ex-civil
Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle 80? 1954 1972 USSR/Czechoslovakia
Ilyushin Il-28R 2 1957 1972 USSR/Czechoslovakia
Ilyushin Il-28U 6? 1957 1972 USSR/Czechoslovakia
Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum 25 1971 1990 USSR
LET L-410UVP Turbolet 3 1987 1996 Czechoslovakia
Lisunov Li-2 25 1949 1973 USSR
Mraz K-65 Kap (Fieseler Fi 156) 30? 1947 1961 Czechoslovakia
Messerschmitt Bf 109G-14/Avia S 99? 126? 1947 1950 Hungary/Czechoslovakia?
Mikoyan MiG-15 ? 1951 1953 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-15bis 360 1953 1978 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-15UTI 53 1953 1989 USSR/Czechoslovakia
Mikoyan MiG-17F Fresco C 100 1956 1986 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-17PF 30 1956 1982 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-19PM Farmer D 30 1959 1973 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-19SF Farmer C 40 1968 1973 Czechoslovakia
Mikoyan MiG-21bis Fishbed L 52 1977 2000 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-21F-13 Fishbed C 116 1960 1988 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-21MF Fishbed J 50? 1971 1998 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-21PF Fishbed D 15 1966 1988 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-21U Mongol A 16 1968 1991 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-21UM Mongol B 24 19?? 1998 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-21US Mongol B 20 1987 1992 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-23MF Flogger B 12 1979 1996 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-23UB Flogger C 5 1989 1997 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-29A Fulcrum A 22 1993 2010 USSR
Mikoyan MiG-29UB 6 1993 2010 USSR
Mil Mi-1M Hare 6 1960 1993 USSR
Mil Mi-2 Hoplite 44 1967 2000 USSR
Mil Mi-4 Hound 16 1955 1993 USSR
Mil Mi-8 Hip 60+ 1968 current USSR
Mil Mi-9 Hip G 1 1992 1998 Germany
Mil Mi-17 7 1989 current USSR
Mil Mi-24 Hind 26 1978 2012 USSR
Petlyakov Pe-2 ? 1949 1956? USSR
Polikarpov Po-2 Mule 24 1948 1958 USSR
SAAB JAS 39C/D Gripen 14 2006 current Sweden
Siebel Si 204D 6 1947 1953 Czechoslovakia
Sokol M1C Siraly 1 1948 1949 Hungary
Sport Rubik R-18 Kanya II 1 1958 19?? Hungary
Sport Rubik EM-29 Csoka 25 1947 1948 Hungary
Sukhoi Su-22M Fitter J/H 40 1981 1997 USSR
Sukhoi Su-22U Fitter G 4 1989 1997 USSR
Tupolev Tu-2 35 1951 1957 USSR
Tupolev Tu-134A Crusty 4 1974 1993 USSR
Weiss Manfred M-28 Daru II 1 1949 1950 Hungary
WSK-Swidnik SM-2 31 1967 1997 Poland
Yakovlev Yak-7V 1 1949 1957 USSR
Yakovlev Yak-9D 140 1949 1957 USSR
Yakovlev Yak-9P 120 1949 1957 USSR
Yakovlev Yak-11 Moose 70 1951 1988 USSR/Czechoslovakia
Yakovlev Yak-12R Creek 3 1957 1961 USSR
Yakovlev Yak-18 Max 21 1951 1988 Hungary
Yakovlev Yak-23 Flora ? 1950 1956 USSR
Yakovlev Yak-40 Codling 2 1980 1995 USSR
Yakovlev Yak-52 12/12 1987 current USSR/Romania
Yakovlev UT-2 Mink 33 1947 1958 USSR
Zlin Z 181 45? 1947 1949 Czechoslovakia
Zlin Z 381 22 1947 1962 Czechoslovakia
Zlin Z 43 9 1990 2000 Czechoslovakia

* = on order.

Additional information is welcome

Current Order of Battle
Hungarian Air Force

Regiment/Wing Squadron Type Base
Légierõ Parancsnoksàg
59. ‘Vitez Szentgyörgyi Deszô’ Harcàszati Repülö Bázis
1. ‘Puma’ Vadászrepülö Szàzad Kecskemét JAS 39C/D Gripen
3. Szàllito Repülö Szàzad Kecskemét An-26
4. Kiképzö Repülö Szàzad Szolnok Yak-52
86. ‘Szolnok’ Helikopter Ezred
1. Szàllito Helikopter Zászloalj Szolnok Mi-8/17
Strategic Airlift Capability
Heavy Airlift Wing
Papa C-17A

Ezred = Regiment
Kiképzö = Training
Szàllito = Transport
Szàzad = Squadron
Zászloalj = Battalion