In 1910 a small Flying Corps (Corpul Aerian Romana) was established by the Romanian Army. During the First World War the Flying Corps disintegrated as the country was overrun by Austro-German forces.
After the Romanian government was reestablished in 1918, it set about forming a new air arm, called the Divisia-I-a Aeriana, under a Directorate of Army Aviation.
The new air arm expanded rapidly, and was able to rely increasingly on the domestic aircraft industry. Unfortunately, when World War Two arrived, most of this equipment was obsolete and, with Romania staying neutral, it became difficult to obtain new aircraft from abroad. In September 1940, a Luftwaffe advisory mission arrived to reorganise the air force, (by now called the Fortelor Aerienne Regal de Romana), and on 23 November 1940 Romania signed the Axis Tripartite Pact.
The number of German ‘instructors’ was progressively increased, as was the quantity of German aircraft supplied. When Germany attacked Russia on 22 June 1941, Romanian air elements supported the German attack on the Bessarabian front. By the beginning of 1944, the Romanian squadrons operating in Russia had suffered huge losses, equivalent to almost half of the total front-line strength of the Romanian air force. The severely weakened force was withdrawn to help with countering growing Allied air attacks on the Ploesti oilfields.
The anti-fascist coup of 23 August 1944 took the Germans completely by surprise. Attempts were made to move German troops into Bucharest by air, but as the Romanians held all the serviceable airfields, the operation was cancelled.
Following the Soviet occupation of Romania, a peace treaty was signed in 1947. The air force was renamed the Fortele Aerienne ale Republicii Populare Romana and reorganised along Soviet lines. In 1953 the first MiG-15 jet fighters were supplied. In 1965 the air force was renamed Fortele Aerienne ale Republicii Socialiste Romana.
Following the general uprising of December 1989, the air force assumed it’s present title of Fortele Aerienne Romane. In the rebuilding process following the change of government, the air force has been accorded priority status. Aircraft serviceability levels have risen from their previously very low levels and the ageing MiG-21 fleet is undergoing the Lancer upgrade with help from Elbit Systems.
|1910||Romanian Flying Corps first established by the Army|
|1918||Romanian Air Division formed|
|September 1940||German advisors arrive to re-organise the Air Force|
|22 June 1941||Romania joins the German attack on Russia|
|23 August 1944||Romania joins the Allies after anti-facist coup|
|1951||First jet aircraft delivered – Yak-17|
|1956||Air Force disbanded following Romanian Uprising|
|1955||First helicopters received – Mi-1|
To be added
Possible transfer of helicopter units to Army control.
Take delivery of 24 improved IAR-99 Soim to repace L-39ZA.
Convert 24 IAR.330 Pumas to SOCAT standard for anti-tank role.
Replace An-24/An-26 with C-27J medium transport aircraft.
Acquire another 4 used C-130s when funds permit.
Retire Lancers from service by 2008-2010 and replace them with 40-48 new western fighters.
Obtain 12 new transport helicopters.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
The Romanian 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-21PFM 4708.
None – Manufacturers designations used.
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
Aircraft NOT Used
The air force is organised into a number of Air Base units, comprising between 2 and 4 squadrons.
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.
Current Air Bases
The main air bases currently used are Bacau, Boboc, Borcea-Fetesti, Brasov-Ghimbav, Campia Turzii and Otopeni-Bucharest.
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.
Romanian Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.
Air Forces Monthly February 1999
Scramble No.217 October 1997