Sunday, October 30, 2005

Albania to stop using MiG fighter jets

TIRANA, Albania-Albania will stop using MiG fighter jets by the end of the year because of high maintenance costs and the planes' unreliability, the country's top military official said Friday.

Albania's military uses 125 Soviet- and Chinese-made MiG-17, MiG-19 and MiG-21 jets. It also has used MiG-15s for training.

The country's "financial reality and the efficiency" of keeping MiG planes in the air have obliged the military to put them out of use, army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Pellumb Qazimi said.

Last year, a MiG-19 crashed during takeoff, killing the pilot.

Albania now relies on helicopters for military and humanitarian purposes. Tirana also plans to use military surveillance planes after 2007.

Albania, which is reforming its military in hopes of joining NATO in 2008, has small peacekeeping units in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia.


Anonymous said...

Is the Albanian military going to resume its former tactic of potshotting from the ground at enemy aircraft?

Marko said...

Albania needs to partner with its neighbors to have a unified regional security force of professional soldiers. It cannot keep up with the rest of the worlds military spending and try to get into NATO.

Ledio said...

Good move by the new government. Those things are death traps for the pilots. I wander how they're going to keep those pilots active.

Ferick said...

I think its a good move.Are they going to replace them with something else though? Anybody knows this?

A few weeks ago i read somewhere that USA is going to sell Albania some old F-15 at discounted prices. Agian i have not been able to see anything official on this. If somebody knows more about this please share it with us.

In any case, Mig technology is old and usless in this day and age. I wonder what is Albanian going to do with them: sell or decomission them? It would be interesting to see. I think they should keep a few and donate them to Kosova Protection Corps for training. They are going to need some soon!

Anonymous said...

I'll be rather sad to see them go - there was something quaint about a European country flying aircraft that were obsolete in the 1960's. Its amazing that they have managed to keep them in the air for so long. Kucove airbase will presumably now close which will not be good news for local employment

Glenshiro said...

Speaking of obsolete aircraft, does anyone know the story behind the T-33 "spyplane" on display at the National Armament Museum in Gjirokaster, allegedly forced down by the Albanians in 1957? In particular, what became of its crew?