East German Air Force
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East Germany
Air Force

Current Title: Luftstreitkräfte der NVA
Title in English: East German Air Force
Abbreviation: LSK


Narrative Summary:
In 1950 an air arm of the Volkspolizei (People's Police) was created with Soviet assistance. In 1956 the paramilitary elements of this air arm were transformed into the East German Air Force (Luftstreitkräfte). In 1957 the air force was combined with the Luftverteidigung (Air Defence Force), which controlled the anti-aircraft missile network. The service's full name thus became Luftstreitkräfte/Luftverteidigung, (LSK/LV). In October 1990 the Air Force merged with the West German Luftwaffe, but most of the equipment and personnel were soon retired from service - except for the MiG-29 which was retained until 2004.

Key Dates:
1956    East German air force established
1957    Air Force combined with Air Defence Force
3 October 1990    Re-unification with West Germany

Current Status:
Upon the re-unification of Germany in October 1990, the East Germany Air Force was merged into the Luftwaffe. Although most aircraft were quickly retired, some useful equipment was retained in service - most notably the MiG-29 fighter wing.

Future Plans:
Not applicable.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):

The Air Force followed the standard East German military aircraft serialling system of a three-digit individual number which was NOT based on the airframe construction number, eg: MiG-29 668.


Aircraft Designation System(s):
None - Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order

Aircraft NOT Used:
False reports of aircraft on order or in service


Main Headquarters:
Not known.

Organisational Structure:
The Air Force was organised into a Tactical and Transport Command, two Air Defence Divisions and the Officer Training School. The Tactical and Transport Command comprised two fighter-bomber Wings, two Tactical Reconaissance Squadrons and some transport and liaison units. Each Air Defence Division comprised two or three interceptor-fighter Wings and a liaison Flight. The Training School included two fixed-wing training Wings, a helicopter training Wing and a transport training Squadron. A VIP transport unit reported direct to Air Force Headquarters.

Current Order of Battle:
Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle:
List of Historical Orders of Battle:
Order of Battle October 1990

All-Time Flying Units List:
To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
Not applicable.

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


East German Military Aviation Bibliography - to be added.


World Air Power Journal No.3 p.148


wikipedia: Luftstreitkrafte der NVA






German MiG-21

The MiG-21 Page

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First Created: 15 September 2008 - Last Revised: 3 October 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Hayles.    e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk