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Small Air Force with Big History


The Montenegrin Air Force inherits traditions from the Yugoslavian unit that was formed at the end of World War II. Its headquarters were relocated several times until 1968 when it moved to Titograd (today’s Podgorica).


The air force began training helicopter pilots in 1992, and by now has trained more than 1,400 cadets. “Today, the Montenegrin Air Force consists of one mixed squadron, the Air Operations Center, and the Force Protection Platoon,” says Montenegro’s Air Force Commander, Lt. Col. Bojan Blagojevic.


The air force still has some older Gazelles parked in its hangars. “The Gazelle is one of the most successful and reliable helicopters in the world,” Maj. Goran Sencic says. “We have trained all of our helicopter pilots on it, and we got some really great experiences from that platform. It is an excellent platform for basic and advanced flight training, and it has also proven to be a good attack helicopter. It has been used in anti-armor combat using an AT-3 Sagger, a wire-guided missile.”


Blagojevic adds, “The Gazelles proved to be an excellent training platform when our first pilots successfully completed the type ratings on the Bell 412 in Bell Training Academy two years ago. They transferred to the B412 directly from the Gazelles. We will keep Gazelle in our memories as a great helicopter.” But it’s time to move on.


“Now, it is time to create a high-quality new fleet for our pilots,” Minister of Defence Predrag Boskovic says.


46


Nov/Dec 2020


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