Soviet Air Power 1945–84

  • M. J. Armitage
  • R. A. Mason

Abstract

In 1985 the Soviet Air Forces (SAF) were equipped with some 10,000 modern fixed-wing aircraft and 4,000 helicopters.1 The Soviet aviation industry was producing a further 1,800 planes each year. The result was that Soviet air power was a vitally important element in any assessment of the military balance between East and West and, moreover, was increasingly permitting the Soviet Union to demonstrate a potential for military influence far from its own national boundaries. Indeed, the comparative growth in Soviet air power since 1945 far exceeded that of any other country. Its progress, generally shrouded in secrecy but occasionally exposed for dramatic international effect, has often been both underestimated and overemphasised. Problems of contemporary analysis remain, but its evolution from the aftermath of the Second World War, through the debates of the Khrushchev period followed by the expansion of the 1970s to the re-equipment and reorganisation of the 1980s is now much more clearly discernible.

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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Sir Michael Armitage and R. A. Mason 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Armitage
  • R. A. Mason

There are no affiliations available

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