Air Defense Force Day in Armenia Date in the current year: May 19, 2024

Air Defense Force Day in Armenia Air Defense Force Day is a professional holiday in the Armenian Armed Forces celebrated annually on the third Sunday in May. It was established in 1994 to commemorate the formation of the Air Defense Force in the Armenian Air Force.

During the Soviet era, the air defense of Armenia was carried out by the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, newly independent Armenia established a Ministry of Defense and began the formation of its own armed forces in close cooperation with Russia, which provided technological assistance, weapons, and equipment.

The Armenian Air Force began to conduct offensive combat operations in October 1992 during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. The formation of the Air Defense Department within the Armenian Air Force began around the same time. It was led by Norat Ter-Grigoryants, who was instrumental in organizing and equipping the previously almost non-existent Armenian air defense forces as part of his military reform program.

About 400 non-commissioned officers were drafted into light anti-aircraft defense units, which were formed in motorized rifle regiments and brigades. Within a year, Armenia integrated most of the radars and surface-to-air missiles it had inherited from the Soviet Union into a functional air defense system. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War, it was used to destroy enemy airplanes, helicopters, and military equipment.

The main task of Armenia’s Air Defense Force is to prevent violation of country’s state border in the airspace. The Air Defense Force of Armenia consists of an anti-aircraft missile brigade and two anti-aircraft missile regiments. It is equipped by anti-aircraft missile systems manufactured in the Soviet Union and Russia:

  • S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems
  • Tor medium-range SAM systems
  • Buk medium-range SAM systems
  • Krug medium-range SAM systems
  • S-125 Neva/Pechora short-range SAM systems
  • Kub short-range SAM systems
  • S-75 short-range SAM systems
  • Osa short-range SAM systems
  • Strela-10 short-range SAM systems
  • ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled, radar guided anti-aircraft weapon systems
  • ZU-23-2 towed anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannons
  • Verba man-portable air-defense systems
  • Igla man-portable air-defense systems
  • Strela-2 man-portable air-defense systems

The main air defense system that protects the air security of Armenia is the S-300.

Armenian air defense forces are closely integrated with Russian air defense forces. Armenia has been a de facto member of the Joint CIS Air Defense System since its establishment in 1995, alongside Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. The Air Defense Force of Armenia regularly participates in the annual air defense exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Air Defense Force Day in Armenia is celebrated annually on the third Sunday of May because the formation of Armenia’s air defense forces officially ended in May 1994, shortly after the end of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. It is marked by official ceremonies and other events.

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Air Defense Force Day in Armenia, observances in Armenia, professional holidays, military observances, Air Defense Force