Albania to sell Soviet-era MiG fighter aircraft

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 10, 2015 16:04

Albania to sell Soviet-era MiG fighter aircraft

TIRANA, March 9 – Albania has put up for sale its stock of Soviet-era MiG fighter aircraft in a new effort a decade after retiring them and six years after the country’s NATO membership.

Defence Minister Mimi Kodheli says she has ordered the initiation of legal procedures for the auction of the remaining stock of MiG fighters Albania inherited from the Cold War under communism.

The Soviet-era fighters which took the lives of 35 Albanian pilots but were not used in any attack against potential ‘revisionist’ invaders of isolated communist Albania will be offered to museum collectors and for scrap, said the defence ministry in a statement.

The last MiG fighter took off from the Kuçova military air base in November 2004 soon before Albania declared their retirement and its shift to pure helicopter force.

Under the 45-year communist regime Albania had a considerable air fleet of Soviet Union and Chinese MiG 15, 17, 19 and 21. A considerable number of them are displayed in the country’s state museums, including the new museum of armed forces in Tirana.

“In the 1970s, Albania’s Military Aviation was fully efficient with over 70 MIG-19 and 12 MIG-21 aircraft, a combat squadron of MIG-17 fighter jets and many combat-training MIG-15 aircraft,” says the Albanian Armed Forces.

The first installation of Jet Aviation was established in the Kuçova air base, southern Albania, in 1955, comprising MIG-15 aircraft. The Aviation Regiment in Rinas, outside Tirana, which was composed of a squadron of MIG-19 aircraft and a squadron of MIG-17 aircraft, was created in 1962 when Albania established the Aviation School.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 10, 2015 16:04