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The State Of The Libyan Government of National Accord’s Air Force

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This post is based on Dmitry Valuzhenich’s article released by Anna News

Ever since the NATO intervention in Libya in 2011, the Libyan Air Force, under the control of the Libyan Government of National Accord (LGNA), has seen its capabilities deteriorate.

Most of the airfield were damaged by NATO airstrikes, and the same goes for much of its aircraft. Prior to the intervention, the country had a large number of helicopters and combat aircraft, but since then only a few remain capable of even flying in the air.

To try and tackle the problem, Tripoli called in Ukrainian specialists to assist in restoration.

In December 2014, a group of specialists arrived in the country from the “Odessa Aircraft Repair Plant”, which began to restore aircraft technology. First of all, two MiG-23ML fighters from the Rassvet Libya group, one of the key forces in the army of the LGNA, were repaired and put into operation. Both fighter jets carried out strikes against positions of ISIS militants.

The State Of The Libyan Government of National Accord's Air Force

Restored MiG-23ML, Click to see full-size image

In addition, work began on the restoration of two MiG-25 and one MiG-25 UB aircraft. Combat aircraft of this type were mainly used for reconnaissance of enemy positions from the air. In May 2015, one of them was lost.

The State Of The Libyan Government of National Accord's Air Force

MiG-25. Click to see full-size image

The main air power of the LGNA became light attack aircraft, repurposed from the L-39ZO training aircraft, produced in Czechoslovakia and the G-2 Galeb, produced in Yugoslavia.

The Dawn of Libya group had five G-2 Galebs and 2 L-39ZO aircraft at its disposal. A further 12 aircraft of the type were restored by the Ukrainian specialists. Out of these, 14 aircrafts were based in Misrata, from where the Dawn of Libya operates.

Several more L-39ZOs were stationed at Mitiga airbase in Tripoli and were not actively involved in hostilities. In the spring of 2015, all available aircraft in combat readiness, as well as two Mi-24 helicopters from the air base in Misrata were available for air strikes, both against ISIS militants and supporters of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).

The State Of The Libyan Government of National Accord's Air Force

G-2 Galeb. Click to see full-size image

By the summer of 2016, the resource of the Tripoli MiG-23 and MiG-25 supporters in service was seriously exhausted. The main role of strike aircraft in the GNA forces became the L-39ZO. Despite the aircraft having mediocre combat characteristics, combat losses were avoided. Only one aircraft was lost due to an accident.

The L-39ZO, were equipped with C-5 NURSs and containers with GSh-23L aviation cannons and operated from altitudes above 2,000 meters to avoid destruction from the ground.

Under these conditions, it became clear that launches of NURS from such heights was ineffective. Often missiles simply did not come out of the blocks because of their pitiful state.

In comparison, the GSH-23L combat vehicle did quite well in fighting the most common targets.

The G-2 Galebs attacked targets by way of large-caliber machine guns. The use of aerial strikes from the training aircraft was difficult, because it wasn’t adapted for the purpose.

The State Of The Libyan Government of National Accord's Air Force

L-39ZO. Click to see full-size image.

In 2019, according to the report, the aerial force of the LGNA is represented by two combat-capable MiG-23ML fighter jets, one MiG-25, 5 G-2 Galeb, and approximately 13 L-39ZO light attack aircraft.

In addition, there are also 5 SIAI SF-260 training aircraft. The GNA air force also has 8 Mi-24 and Mi-35 attack helicopters, which can deliver effective airstrikes on enemy positions, but not all of them are capable of flight. Reportedly, between 2 and 4 of the attack helicopters are actually combat-ready.

According to other sources, the GNA air force operates nine L-39ZO light attack aircraft, two Mig-23ML fighters and one Mi-24 gunship helicopter. Most of these warplanes are stationed in Misurata air base.

Haftar’s LNA is not threatened by the L-39ZO, and the only challenge to them are the MiG-23ML fighter jets and the MiG-25.

The LNA possesses ZPU-2 and ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft installations and the Kvadrat air defense missile system. Their main force is primarily made up of MiG-21 and MiG-23 fighter jets, against which the L-39ZO has little hope.

The LNA has a clear advantage as it operates two Mirage F1 fighter jets, twelve Mig-21 fighter jets, three Mig-23ML fighter bombers and a Su-22 fighter bomber.

To make things worse for the GNA air force, in addition to worn-out and outdated equipment, it also has a serious lack of personnel. Most of the pilots are above 50 years old, which in terms of fighter jet pilots is above retirement age. It should be noted that the LNA face the same problem in terms of flight personnel.

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  • Zionism = EVIL

    Like I said on the previous article, the Libyan “airforce” is a collection of Russian flying junk which Kaddafi, not the smartest of the tent dwellers bought in large numbers and could not maintain. First, he brought in the Pakistanis who got fed up with his antics and left and since then every corrupt Slavic shithole from Ukraine to Bulgaria is involved in keeping a few Ruskie dishwashers flying. Libya had the largest uneducated and non-technical population in North Africa, as Kaddafi like all dictators was afraid of educating his people, was he wrong though in hindsight. Libya was a poorer version of Saudi Arabia, where at least the Americunts and NATO fags are keeping the Saudi western planes flying at rip off costs. Kaddafi was mercurial and did not trust anyone and his miltary equipment went to pieces. The Libyan military was so inept that it was beaten by Husein Habre’s Chadians in Land Cruisers, when heavy Libyan armor got bogged down in sand. This arsehole Haftar commanded that disaster, when he was one of Kaddafi’s “generals”. The CIA recruited him after that debacle.

    • meridius

      Well, Haftar appears to have at least learned from his previous mistakes on the battle field, and is a lot more successful now fielding primarily light weight trucks (Toyota) rather than heavy armor. Otherwise, you are right in your assessment.

      Where Haftar true allegiance lies, is anyone’s guess. I think no one side trust him sufficiently to provide him cutting age military, logistic or financial support. So far he appears to have got by with only crumbs received from various interest groups, all wary of his final intentions and his true allegiance.

    • Brother Ma

      First i hear about Libya having dumbest population in North Africa. I actually heard he raised the education level of the country enormously and I have no reason to disbelieve it. Gaddafi not trusting or equipping his own army is plausible. Big mistake. Also giving up his arms to the West. One should never give their arms to anyone. If they are your friends they won’t care if you have them. Only bad actors care that you have arms.

      • RichardD

        ZE is a very twisted character.

        Qaddafi had issues, but he also brought Libya from one of the most under developed nations in Africa to the most highly developed in many respects in his lifetime. And his son seems to be a capable person who would have built on that without his father’s eccentricities.

        • Ronald

          And one of his sons got his out of jail pass, my bet he will side with Haftar.

  • Hassadnah Abraham

    Libya and Libyan have been murdered and destroyed by US and NATO against all INTERNATIONAL LAW and NORM and never being punish. The only human being capable of RIGHTING NATO and US WRONG is PUTIN and RUSSIAN.

    For all HUMANITARION sake, RUSSIAN must help to restore peace and stability in LIBYA immediately

    • Zionism = EVIL

      Russia is owned by Jews, and Putin licks his lover Nutter Yahoo’s arse who has paid 15 conjugal visits since 2011. Russia did not even utter a word against Zionist criminals when they killed 15 Russians, but Putin endangered Russian lives in Syria looking for a Jew scum who was killed in the illegal invasion of Lebanon 1982 and then organized a song and dance for the Zionist scum in Kremlin. Don’t be fooled by Russia, it is weak and corrupt and Jew oligarchs control it.

      • Nosferatu

        Russians are saving countries and loosing soldiers for others freedom all over the world and then you come and write such stupid bullshit…..

    • Concrete Mike

      I disagree its not up to VVP, its up to us, regular joes in the west to stop our lying governements from interfering in libya.

  • iosongasingsing

    The USA zionists let Haftar take Tripoli against Italy interests in retaliation for the agreement with China.

  • Garga

    It’s not easy to understand what happens in Libya and who supports who. My two cents:

    – UAE and Egypt vehemently support Haftar (Tobruq, Benghazi – east, northeast). UAE even sent 12 fighters (6 Mirages and 6 F-16’s with foreign -mostly European- pilots of course) in support of Haftar “to fight terrorism”. Imagine that, UAE fighting terror! Egyptian airforce bombed his opponents. He has also good relations with Russia. Saudis also support him (not in a meaningful way) just to oppose Qatar.

    – Qatar, Turkey and Sudan support LGNA (Tripoli – west, northwest). They are a mixture from liberals to Salafists close to Muslim Brotherhood. Whoever wakes up earlier in the morning will be the boss. US and NATO supported their operations with their aerial units. They protested whenever Haftar forces and others attacked salafists, Daesh and AQ forces.

    – Twariq (Qaat – southwest), Amaziq and Tabu (south) are a combinations of some nomadic tribes and are not limited to Libya. They have presence in Mali, Niger, Algeria and Burkina Faso. They’re not really opposing any particular group, but Salafists. They had almost no rights in Qaddhafi government and were engaged in skirmishes here and there; and after his demise, they took control of the regions in which they reside. Some European countries and Israel attempted to use them for disintegration of Libya. Twariq are considered closer to LGNA and Tabu close to Haftar.

    – And finally Daesh and AQ groups (Sirte – north central). They initially had some success but their strength is now diminished and they are limited to hit and run attacks. Their most important role is to create chaos and try to disintegrate the country. No foreign country supports them overtly but hey, it’s Daesh, of course “somebody” is supporting them.

    This new operation by Haftar forces, although increases the tensions which may result in bloodshed, also reduces the danger of disintegration. Specially if they manage to get support of nomadic tribes. I can’t imagine “some tiny country” be too happy about that.

    The problem with Libya is their neighbours are either not interested in a unified and strong Libya or not capable of doing anything. Libyans themselves are also not helping the situation as they can’t find a middle ground. None of them accept the result of elections if they are not the winner themselves.

    Personally I trust none of them, but it’s not up to me. Hopefully they put their differences aside and rebuild their country, if foreigners let them.

  • Smaug

    The Libyan air force was decrepit at best even at the height of Gaddafi’s power. It could not be any serious obstacle to any army, except perhaps a dissident Libyan one.