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Lithuanian Air Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lithuanian Air Force
Lietuvos karinės oro pajėgos
Insignia of the Lithuanian Air Force.png
Active1919–1940, 1992–present
Country Lithuania
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
SizeAbout 1,000 professional military servicemen and non-military personnel;
14 aircraft in its inventory.
Part ofLithuanian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQGedimino 25, LT-44319 Kaunas
Anniversaries12 March 1919
2 January 1991
CommanderColonel Dainius Guzas
Brigadier General Antanas Gustaitis
Roundel of Lithuania.svg
Air Force Ensign of Lithuania.svg
Aircraft flown
Multirole helicopterMi-8MTV-1, Mi-8T, Mi-8PS, AS365
TransportC-27J, L-410,

The Lithuanian Air Force or LAF (Lithuanian: Lietuvos karinės oro pajėgos (LK KOP)) is the military aviation branch of the Lithuanian armed forces. It is formed from professional military servicemen and non-military personnel. Units are located at Šiauliai military airfield near the city Šiauliai, at Radviliškis and Kaunas.

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  • ✪ How Much Power Does Lithuania Have?


Lithuania may be a small country But actually it has a lot more than it might seem And to continue here on FTD facts to learn more about the great country of Lithuania We are gonna figure out how powerful this country actually is when it comes to its military how's it going guys and welcome to FTD facts the channel where I look at people cultures and places from all around the world and In this case, we're looking at militaries now for those who are here for the first time My name is Dave Walpole and for the people who are coming back Maybe people who just watched our Lithuania video and are now checking out this one Well, welcome back and let's get learning more about this great amazing country now today We are looking at Lithuania and seeing how much power it has in terms of military. Now for me. The overall country fascinates me But more specifically its military because although it is small its developing and it's developing fast Basically to give you a little bit of history of the military of Lithuania. It was founded on November 3rd 1918 However, its current form of military came on April 25th 1990. This was after lethwei Nia basically said goodbye Soviet Union we're going and doing our own thing That's when they got their independence and to give you an idea of how this military power actually works We got a look at its hierarchy because as of today the commander and chief of this military power is president Dalia good about skate as well when it comes to the Minister of National Defense that falls under Raymundus Cairo 'bless as well. The chief of defense is lieutenant general Janos zookas now overall Lithuania has a population of approximately two million eight hundred and thirty-two thousand people and for this military the manpower equals approximately 1.8 million people with approximately 1 million 400,000 people that are classified as fit for service and when I give you this number for fit for service I'm not talking specifically about males I'm talking about males and females because as a matter of fact when it comes to Lithuania Females can also be in the military as well as men Did you know that however when it comes to the total military personnel of the Lithuanian Armed Forces it comes in at approximately? 38,000 750 people also when it comes to the military the youngest that one can Volunteer for service is 18 years old and as well you may wonder is a conscription actually in the country Well, actually it is although it was actually abolished in 2008 in 2015 it was reintroduced into the country. And for the number of conscripts there is approximately 3,500 to 4,000 people who serve the military every single year now for the conscription most of the conscripts are anywhere between 19 to 26 years old and as for anyone else such as the women they can also Volunteer at 18 they don't get conscripted at 18 No, and as well when they do sign up it is approximately a nine-month service now Let's break down this total personnel and look at it a little more individually because of that when it comes to the active personnel There's roughly eighteen thousand seven hundred people However with that there's approximately twenty thousand individuals that are within the reserve units for these reserves You'll see volunteers take 20 to 50 days per year in service as well Apparently if you volunteer for the reserves, the minimum contract is 3 years and the maximum is 5 of course, by the way All of this is based off of an approximation from 2018 numbers Just so you guys know this is the most up to date that I could get now of the military itself has four different major Divisions there's the land division the Air Force the Navy and even Special Forces groups also, by the way, guys just letting you know this video is kind of a part two in our playlist of Lithuania if you want to learn more about the Great country of Lithuania hit this card right here It's also going to be in the description box below or at the end of the video, but let's continue Shall we so I'm going to dive right into the equipment and the hardware that these different divisions use now I want to give you guys a little bit of a heads up currently right now. Lethwei. NIAAA is going through a major modernization So some of these numbers may not be completely exact also on top that militaries don't like to give out complete over a hundred percent Information about what they have. They got to keep something secret. So nothing is quite on the nose. So for the Air Force unfortunately, Lithuania has a rather small one with an Eric strength of approximately 11 of this they have absolutely zero fighters that they currently own However, their attack craft sits at approximately four of course if you go to global firepower They will state that there is only one but it is actually four The reason for this is because they have four attack craft the Aero l-39 these fighters also double up as trainers But the thing is there's a major plan to get 16 of these for the country to possess themselves So that is something new that's coming very shortly However, let's keep in mind that the country is a major contributor and a participant of NATO and although the country doesn't have its own Fighters NATO countries actually rotate the amount of fighters that they bring in to Lithuania For example this all started in 2004 and during that time they had four F-16 fighters that were from Belgium currently right now. I hear those four fighters are actually given not from Belgium anymore But now it's the Dutch that are doing their rotation, but keep in mind This is part of a program known as the Baltic Air Policing Program which is pretty much a transitionary period for the Baltic States all the other NATO countries were looking over it Until the Baltic countries can provide Air Force and Air coverage for themselves Now of this the country also has a four to nine transports in which the biggest transport they use is the Alenia c-27j Of course on top of that they have six helicopters all six of them classify as utility choppers in which they use the Eurocopter As350 five and the mil me eight helicopter So you can get a general idea when I was saying that this country is Developing because it doesn't have a lot of equipment well with that in mind Let's go down to the land and let's take a look there cuz they got some similarities going on down there as they do up in the air because For Lithuania, this country also doesn't possess any form of main battle tank. However with that in mind in 2017 Germany wasn't talks to send tanks to Lithuania as part of a NATO program. Of course Germany's actually done this multiple times before with other European and NATO countries they form what is known as a joint kind of group where they have the people from that country and German soldiers working together as one unit however prior to that announcement Germany had also sent 1,000 troops to Mon The border of Russia because of the annexation of Crimea now when it comes to armored fighting vehicles this country does have quite a bit coming in at 432 now a lot of these armored fighting vehicles are classified as armored carriers in which they have quite a bit of M1 113 S&M five seven seven two version twos However, those older carriers are not the only thing that they have they also have what is known as the boxer now This is a German and Dutch vehicle. They say there's about 80 of them in the country with three that are for training purposes however, I'm not sure if these 88 are within the country yet because in 2017 they said they were going to be shipping them with plans to have overall 91 of these armored fighting vehicles by 2021 on top of that their version of the box there's a little bit different from what Germany has they classify theirs as the Vilkas which is armed with an Israeli remote control station featuring a 30 millimeter Cannon known as the Rafael Samson MK 3 so as for artillery they use approximately 21 self-propelled artillery I know this artillery the country uses the PZ H Which is also going to be given to them by Germany and they will have these complete by 2019 however for towed artillery for Lithuania They have 54 which they use the M 101 howitzer originally 72 of these came from Denmark But as of today roughly eighteen of them are used for parts as for rocket projectors There are zero that we know of that are within the country However, there is major talks of them getting the United States multi rocket system vehicle Navy. Let's jump down Let's take a look at that as well. So for Navy assets it comes in at approximately seven currently as of today They have no aircraft carriers forget two destroyers Corvettes or even submarines however They do have what is known as three mine warfare? Vessels with one of them doubling up as a command ship and for combat purposes when it comes to the Navy they also have four patrol vessels now here is the big question does lethwei nia possess nukes or Major weapons of mass destruction of any kind let's find out when it comes to nuclear weapons This country does not possess any at this time although back in 1997 they were accused of selling nuclear weapons other countries in today's world The country does not have any nuclear program nor does it have even any biological weapons or even? Ballistic missiles or missile launching platforms as a matter of fact Lithuania at one point did have a nuclear facility But as of today it's closed So they don't even have a nuclear facility because that one was shut down in 2009 due to safety concerns however, there is talks of having a joint nuclear facility for the three Baltic countries, of course as of 2018 Lithuania is a major supporter of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty On top of that. They are also part of the Comprehensive Test Ban which prevents future testings of nuclear weapons also when it comes to chemical weapons It's a major supporter of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the biological and toxin Weapons Convention one of the reasons why the country also does not possess any ballistic missiles or launching platforms is because the country has signed the International code of conduct against ballistic missiles as well. I covered this earlier, but I just to go into further Explanation of how important this is but the way Nia is a part of NATO which means it has a lot of allies you tick off one of these countries you Tick them all off kind of and let's be real Lithuania is a part of the European Union That is one economy that you just do not want to mess with and it's got friends with Germany You don't want to mess with Germany and although a lot of you guys are probably saying yourself. Okay, let's wainy Yeah, it's still a very small small small military one thing that's really interesting about it is its budget because for the budget in 2018 It's at anywhere between one point zero eight three to one point one zero six billion dollars Which is very surprising when you think of the size of this military because it puts its GDP spending on military at two point zero Six, which let's be real for European and NATO countries They want over 2% of the GDP spent on their military and as a matter of fact some of the countries within NATO and the European Union don't even get to 2% So I was like, wow that's actually impressive. So there you have it everybody That is me. Just looking at the country of Lithuania and seeing how much power it actually has My name is Dave Wawa. And thank you everybody for tuning in and learning about the great country of Lithuania now if you really like this video Like I said hit that like button and on top of that This is a I guess a second video that we've done on the thwe dia so if you want to learn more about Lithuania go in the description box below or at the end of this video and you guys can check out our Lithuanian playlist So other than that, thanks for watching. Hit the subscribe button If it's your first time here, maybe that bail notification and I'll see you in the next one. Okay. Bye Alright so you made it to the end now if you're just interested in Lithuania Or you're from Lithuanian, you want to know more about your own country and your people? Culture and all that stuff hit this playlist and check it out We got other videos here other cool playlists for you to check out but on that we'll see you in the next one. Okay. Bye




Lithuanian Air Force aircraft at Zokniai in 1937
Lithuanian Air Force aircraft at Zokniai in 1937

After the declaration of Lithuania to be an independent state on February 16, 1918, the most urgent task of the new government was to organize a military force that could repel enemy armies that were coming from all sides. The first order for the creation of a Lithuanian army came on November 23, 1918.

In January 1919, an Engineering Company was formed within the military, which contained an Aviation Squad.[1] On March 12, 1919, the group was reorganized into an Aviation Company and became an independent military unit. Its leader was appointed to be marine engineer officer Petras Petronis. This date is considered to be the birthday of the Lithuanian Air Force.

Between March and December 1919 and between 1932 and 1940, the Kaunas Military Aviation School operated in that city. The school trained officers in many aviation disciplines: pilots, observers, gunners and mechanics.

The first aircraft (Sopwith 1½ Strutter) was taken by the Lithuanian military from the Red Army, on February 5, 1919, at the city of Jieznas. On February 27, 1919, eight new reconnaissance aircraft, LVG C.VI, were received. They had been purchased in Germany. In June, five more aircraft were purchased. In the following years some aircraft were taken as war booty and repaired in Lithuanian Aviation workshops, many were purchased from various countries and a number were built by native designers Jurgis Dobkevičius and Antanas Gustaitis.

The Lithuanian Military Aviation was active in battles with the Red Army and Polish military units. The pilot performing the most military sorties was Jurgis Dobkevičius, who later became the first Lithuanian aircraft designer and builder. On May 12, 1920, Vytautas Rauba was the first Lithuanian aviator to lose his life in an aircraft crash. On October 4 of the same year, in a fight with the Polish military, the first aircraft with a Lithuanian crew was shot down. The pilot of the aircraft, Juozas Kumpis, leader of Lithuania's First Air Squadron, was severely injured and died as prisoner of the Polish military.

Starting in 1920 the military aviation branch was renamed a number of times and some time after 1928 it was named to the equivalent of the Lithuanian Air Force.

The Lithuanian Air Force supported and encouraged various aeronautics related activities, such as the sport of gliding. In 1933, in cooperation with Aero Club of Lithuania, they helped establish a Lithuanian Gliding School in Nida and send their only experienced glider pilot, Gregorius Radvenis, to be the school's instructor and supervisor.

In 1940, the Lithuanian Air Force consisted of eight Air Squadrons, including reconnaissance, fighter, bomber and training units. Air Force bases had been established in the cities and towns of Kaunas /Žagariškės, Šiauliai /Zokniai (Zokniai airfield), Panevėžys /Pajuostis. In the summer time, airports in the cities of Palanga and Rukla were also used. A total of 117 aircraft and 230 pilots and observers were listed in the books at that time.

After 1992

Headquarters of Lithuanian Air Force, Kaunas
Headquarters of Lithuanian Air Force, Kaunas

On 23 January 1992, the Minister of Defense signed an order establishing the staff for the Aviation Base of the Aviation Service. But an actual base in the Šiauliai airport territory (Barysiai airfield) was not established until March, when according to the ordinance of the Government of Lithuanian Republic, all the infrastructure, buildings, territory and 24 An-2 aircraft were passed from ”Lithuanian Airlines" to the Aviation Service of the Ministry of Defense in January 1992.
On 12 June 1992, the first time after regaining the independence of Lithuania, An-2 aircraft, marked with the double cross of Vytis on its wings – the distinguishing sign of Lithuanian Air Force – took off from Barysiai airfield. This date is considered to be the Aviation Base foundation date. In February 1993 four L-39C Albatros aircraft were brought from Kyrgyzstan.

After 1 March 1993 Aviation Service was reformed to the Lithuanian Air Force and Aviation Base was renamed the First Aviation Base of the Lithuanian Air Force. In January 1994 Lithuania officially applied for NATO membership. From 1995 to 1999, according to a decree of Lithuanian Government the First Aviation Base was relocated to Zokniai airfield nearby Šiauliai, which was used for fighter wing, radio-electronic fight and reconnaissance squadrons dislocation during the Soviet occupation.

According to the decree of the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, the First Aviation Base and the Second Aviation Base were reorganized into the Lithuanian Air Force Aviation Base as of 1 October 2004. Up to 2004, there were only light attack jet aircraft and transport aircraft located at the Air Base, after the reconstruction of First and Second Air Bases, helicopters are located at the Air Base too.


Lithuanian Air Force locations 2018:
Green pog.svg Air Base Blue pog.svg Air Defence Battalion
Lightgreen pog.svg Air Space Control Centre Orange pog.svg AN/TPS-77(V) Radar Station

The Lithuanian Air Force Headquarters and the Airspace Surveillance and Control Command are located in Kaunas, while the Air Space Control Centre and the Baltic Air Surveillance Network's Regional Airspace Surveillance Coordination Centre (RASCC) are located nearby in Karmėlava. Air Base, and Air Force Armament and Equipment Repair Depot are located at Šiauliai Air Base. The Air Defence Battalion, formed in 2000, is located in Radviliškis.

Air Base

The main air base is located in Šiauliai city. It is manned with professional military and also non-military personnel. It consists of a headquarters, air operation group and operational support group. The base operates various fixed wing and rotary blade aircraft.[2] The staff, aircraft and equipment of the Air Base has participated in many international training missions abroad and at home. Main tasks of the Air Base are:

Air Defence Battalion

Lithuanian Air Force AS365 Dauphin
Lithuanian Air Force AS365 Dauphin

The Air Defence Battalion’s primary missions include:

  • Defend state facilities of vital importance against military aviation attacks from the air in low and medium altitude;
  • Support land forces in fighting against ground armoured technical equipment and in other events;
  • Train military personnel in carrying out combat tasks.

Development of infrastructure is one key missions of the Air Defence Battalion currently in the stage of development.

Airspace Surveillance and Control Command

The Airspace Surveillance and Control Command works closely with the Baltic States Air Surveillance System, BALTNET. The appropriate legal documentation of the BALTNET project was developed, the Reciprocal Memorandum of Understanding concerning military personnel training was signed among Lithuanian, Estonian, Latvian, and Danish Ministries of Defence. The Regional Air Spaces Surveillance Co-ordination Centre (RASSCC), headquarters of the BALTNET project, was established in the LTAF Airspace Control Centre and has been fully functioning since early 2000. Military personnel from all the three Baltic States serve as air surveillance operators at the centre and rotate according to national timetables. The Commander of the centre is appointed for two years and represents one of the Baltic States.

Armament and Equipment Repair Depot

The main tasks of Armament and Equipment Repair Depot:

  • To perform periodical works of maintenance as well as minor and medium repair of LAF armament and equipment outdoors;
  • To modernize LAF equipment according to contemporary aviation needs and NATO standards;
  • To prepare technical requirements for organizing competitions of centralized repair, modernization and purchasing of equipment;
  • To perform periodical works of maintenance, supervision and repair of life-saving equipment used in search and rescue works;
  • Under necessity, to perform works of maintenance and minor repair of special equipment of NATO partners, performing the function of air police in Lithuania. ;
  • Under necessity to provide proper room for ensuring minor repair operations of airplanes (QRA) of NATO partners;
  • Raise the level of military and professional staff preparation in order to be able in future perform periodic maintenance and repair of western type aircraft.

Baltic Air Policing

After Lithuania joined NATO organization back in 2004, its (alongside Latvia's and Estonia's) air space is protected by NATO. NATO members provide usually 4 fighter aircraft, based in Lithuania, to police the Baltic States’ airspace. The deployments rotate between NATO members (that started in March 2004 with Belgium Air Force F-16s) and most NATO members that operate fighters have made a deployment to Lithuania. The Baltic States are considering in the near future to protect their airspace on their own.


Lithuanian Air Force C-27J with an aerial refueling probe
Lithuanian Air Force C-27J with an aerial refueling probe

In line with the set priorities, the Lithuanian Air Force are implementing modernisation plans. Since Independence in 1991, the Lithuanian Air force has bought 3 new C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft. They have replaced the older Soviet-era An-26.
In 2007, two L-39ZA aircraft underwent extension of technical resources in Romania. Maintenance works included exhaustive check-up of the aircraft units and major engine repairs. New navigation equipment GNS 530 was installed and radio communication sets changed in pilot cabins. These planes are used to train fighter control officers in air policing mission and fighter command officers.[3] Furthermore, a complex program of capital overhaul, upgrade and modernisation of the Air Force's helicopters Mi-8 and twin engine short-range transport aircraft L-410 was conducted.[4][5] In 2013, three Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin search and rescue helicopters were ordered from France for roughly 52 million euros. The deal was financed by the EU and deliveries began in 2015.[6] On October of 2019, Lithuanian armed forces announced that Lithuanian Air Force decided to buy 6 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from USA.


A Lithuanian Air Force L-39 fly by
A Lithuanian Air Force L-39 fly by
A Lithuanian Mi-8 at the 2005 RIAT
A Lithuanian Mi-8 at the 2005 RIAT

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Light Attack
Aero L-39 Czech Republic light attack L-39ZA 1
Alenia C-27J Italy transport 3[7]
L-410 Czech Republic transport 1[7]
Mil Mi-8 Russia transport 3[7]
 Eurocopter AS365 France SAR / utility AS365 N3 3[7]
Aero L-39 Czech Republic light attack L-39C 3 three are on lease from Latvia[8]

Retired aircraft

Previous aircraft operated by the Air Force consisted of the An-2 Colt, An-26 Curl, PZL-104 Wilga, and the Mil Mi-2 helicopter[9]

Ranks and insignia


The rank insignia for commissioned officers for the air force.

NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
General officers (Generolai) Senior officers (Vyresnieji karininkai) Junior officers (Jaunesnieji karininkai)
Lithuania Lithuania
No equivalent
21-Lithuania Air Force-LG.svg
20-Lithuania Air Force-MG.svg
19-Lithuania Air Force-BG.svg
18-Lithuania Air Force-COL.svg
17-Lithuania Air Force-LTC.svg
16-Lithuania Air Force-MAJ.svg
15-Lithuania Air Force-CPT.svg
14-Lithuania Air Force-1LT.svg
13-Lithuania Air Force-2LT.svg
No equivalent
Generolas leitenantas Generolas majoras Brigados generolas Pulkininkas Pulkininkas leitenantas Majoras Kapitonas Vyresnysis leitenantas Leitenantas Kariūnas
(as of 2012)[10]
< 9 < 30 < 127 < 375 N/A
NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer


The rank insignia for enlisted personnel for the air force.

NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Lithuania Lithuania
12-Lithuania Air Force-SGM.svg
11-Lithuania Air Force-MSG.svg
09-Lithuania Air Force-STSG.svg
07-Lithuania Air Force-SSG.svg
05-Lithuania Air Force-SGT.svg
04-Lithuania Air Force-CPL.svg
03-Lithuania Air Force-SPVT.svg
02-Lithuania Air Force-PVT.svg
01-Lithuania Air Force-JPVT.svg
Seržantas majoras Viršila Štabo seržantas Vyresnysis seržantas Seržantas Grandinis Vyresnysis eilinis Eilinis Jaunesnysis eilinis
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1

See also

External links


As of this edit, this article uses content from "Lithuanian Air Force", which is licensed in a way that permits reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, but not under the GFDL. All relevant terms must be followed.


  1. ^ A.Gamziukas, G.Ramoška, Lithuanian Air Force 1919-1940, pg. 262 [Lietuvos Karinė Aviacija 1919-1940, Lietuvos aviacijos muziejus, Kaunas, 1999, ISBN 9986-557-12-7]
  2. ^ "Air Base of the Lithuanian Air Force". Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Air Force pilots fly L-39 ZA aircraft again (sic)". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
  4. ^ "Paieškos ir gelbėjimo darbus vykdys kapitaliai suremontuotas sraigtasparnis" (in Lithuanian). National Defence Ministry Republic of Lithuania.
  5. ^ "Lithuanian manufacturers for the military" (PDF). National Defence Ministry Republic of Lithuania.
  6. ^ "First of the Three SAR Helicopters Lithuania Had Purchased Arrived". 3 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "World Air Forces 2016 pg. 23". Flightglobal Insight. 2016. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Lietuvos kariuomenė iš latvių išsinuomojo tris lėktuvus". (in Lithuanian). Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  9. ^ "World Air Forces 2000 pg. 74". Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  10. ^ (in Lithuanian) Principinės kariuomenės struktūros 2012 metais, planuojamos principinės kariuomenės struktūros 2017 metais nustatymo, krašto apsaugos sistemos karių ribinių skaičių ir statutinių valstybės tarnautojų ribinio skaičiaus 2012 metais ir 2017 metais patvirtinimo įstatymas



  • Humberstone, Richard. Lithuanian Air Force, 1918-1940 (Insignia Air Force Special No.1). London: Blue Rider Publishing, 1996.
This page was last edited on 22 October 2019, at 09:00
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