Russian Navy

Formidable. Named. Anti-submarine

Honorable names of Velikiy Ustug, Evgeniy Preobrazhanskiy and Ivan Borzov were given to Tu 142 aircrafts of separate air squadron of the Northern Fleet located in Fedotovo in Vologda oblast.

The ceremony was attended by Northern Fleet Commander-In-Chief Vice-Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, Northern Fleet Air Force Commander Hero of Russia Major General Igor Kozhin, Duma Chairman of Vologda oblast Nikolay Tikhomirov and heads of local communities providing patronage to airmen of the Northern Fleet. Admiral retired Igor Kasatonov and Air Force General Colonel retired Vladimir Daineka were invited as honorary guests. Addressing a meeting Northern Fleet Commander-In-Chief Vice-Admiral Nikolai Maksimov emphasized a major contribution of wing personnel to the improvements of combat readiness of the Northern Fleet.

Forty five years ago in 1963 as per the regulation of General Naval Staff and an order of Northern Fleet Staff the 392nd separate wing of distant reconnaissance was established. It was equipped with the newest at that time reconnaissance aircrafts Tu 95 RC modification of legendary Tu 95 plane that till today forms the backbone of long-distance strategic aviation of Russia. Besides at the same base was accommodated anti-submarine wing of Il 38 planes that later was moved to Kola Peninsula and anti-submarine air division equipped with Tu 142M aircrafts.

In 1963 at Kipelovo base was started construction of accommodation quarters for aviation personnel and their families. Three years later the new settlement was called Fedotovo in memory of the first commanding officer of the 392nd wing.

The plane crews of the wing dispatched missions in the most remote areas of the World Ocean. Skills and bravery of the pilots, flight engineers and technicians was distinguished many times by Air Command. The wing is awarded Courage and Valor Ensign of USSR Ministry of Defense. Many officers and warrant officers, pilots and technicians were decorated with combat awards in the peacetime. Graduation from Fedotov's “school” made several pilots Generals who commanded air divisions, fleets air arms and Navy Air Force.

Unfortunately the wing was disbanded in 1993. Now Fedotovo is the base and living quarters for the pilots of separate air squadron armed with Tu 142M planes designated for submarines search and kill.

During its 45 years history Fedotov’s wing had performed about 4 000 combat training flyouts, over 300 ice reconnaissance, spotted tens of thousands of water-borne targets and hundreds of submarines. It observed 57 large scale Navy maneuvers of NATO countries. The air crews of Fedotovo’s wing participated in more then 400 maneuvers of the Black Sea, Northern, and Baltic Fleets.

Quite recently in accordance with the plan of command-and-staff training exercise "Stability 2008” Northern Fleet air arm carried out the flights above Barents and Norwegian Seas. Practice exercises for plane crews including ones of Tu 142 aircrafts were trained in the close and distant maritime zones.

The objectives assigned included submarines search exercises as well as training of performing and maintaining of vast antisubmarine barrier. The planes of Northern Fleet air arm performed successful conjoint operations at sea with different forces of the fleet, including large anti-submarine ships Admiral Levchenko and Severomorsk.

Until recently the fuselages of four Tu 142 planes of separate squadron proudly showed coat-of-arms and names of towns Vytegra, Cherepovets, Beloozero and Vologda. But today the amount of named aircrafts was increased.

Source: Krasnaya Zvezda, Author: Andrei Luzik, Northern Fleet Information and Public Relations Service

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