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The Romanian Air Force
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The Romanian Air Force was officially founded on 1. April 1913, being the fifth country in the world to have their own air force, and they were among the first to actually use planes for military purposes during the 2nd Balkan War in reconnaissance missions and courier missions.

Their arsenal in WWI consisted of 322 French and British aircraft, namely many models of the Nieuport fighter, as well as the Farman light reconnaissance and Breguet-Michelin heavy bomber airplanes. The Romanian Air Force and the Romanian Flying Corps had an immense number of victories for a country of their size. The RoAF flew about 750 missions, more than many could claim at the time. Both branches of the Air Force dissipated as the country fell to Austro-Hungarian forces. However, in 1918, when the country’s government was restored, the Air Force was brought back to life.

 


In September 1940, a Luftwaffe official came to visit Romania and suggested a plan to reorganize the RoAF. When Romania signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany on the 23rd November, the number of both German instructors and aircraft steadily increased. However, Romania also kept its famed IAR-80 fighters. Although surpassed by both Allied and Axis aircraft in terms of design and equipment, the IAR-80 fighters, in the hands of capable pilots, proved to be just as good as any Mustang or Bf-109. The RoAF helped immensely in the battles against the USSR in Bessarabia and Crimea, however they suffered the brunt of the attacks there, and lost nearly half their planes. The anti-fascist coup of 23. August 1944 turned Romania into a member of the Allies, and their capable, if crippled, Air Force managed to push the Germans out of Romania. WWII produced several distinguished aces, some of them being Captains Horia Agarici and Alexandru Şerbănescu, who had about 50 confirmed kills each.


During the Cold War, Romania adapted their Air Force to be more like the USSR. They were delivered many Soviet aircraft, and their Air Force the German planes that were still there were left only as museum items. The RoAF was completely supplied by the Soviets up until 1974, when the Romanian-built IAR-93 subsonic jet fighter was added to their arsenal. This created great controversy in the country and the USSR at the time, since it was the only jet fighter at the time in the countries of the Warsaw Pact that was not produced by the Soviets.


Currently, the RoAF features a powerful array of aircraft, many of them Mig-21’s and Romanian-built IAR-330 helicopters. However, they have started modernizing their army, mainly by including several F-16 ‘Fighting Falcon’ fighter jets into service, which will arrive in 2015-16.


The Romanian Air Force, despite it not being very well known, has had a great impact in the defense of their country, and continues to do so today.


Sergej "NuclearFoot" Hrustic

 

Romanian insignia 1941 - 1944 will be added to the game in one of upcoming updates:

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