In the years immediately after the Second World War the Soviet Air Defence Force (PVO - Protivovozdooshnaya oborona) included aircraft spotting and searchlight units, alerting and communications units, and fighter aviation. These units were organized into PVO divisions, corps, and armies whose order of battle depended on the specific tasks each formation undertook in the air defence of the Soviet Union.
In addition the Soviet PVO was tasked in the post-war years with the protection of coastal areas and Soviet Navy bases and a new service of the Soviet Armed Forces was established to defend against missile attacks.
The first jet fighters to see service with the PVO were the Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-15bis Fagot-B and MiG-17F Fresco-C. Subsequently the IA PVO started fielding specialized all-weather interceptors; the first of these being the radar-equipped MiG-17P Fresco-B and MiG-17PF Fresco-D, followed by the MiG-17PFU Fresco-E, which traded the cannons for air-to-air missiles. These were superseded by the supersonic MiG-19P Farmer-B (cannon-armed) and MiG-19PM Farmer-D (missile-armed), as well as the Yakovlev Yak-25/Yak-25M Flashlight-A tailor-made for the interceptor role.
In subsequent years the IA PVO operated specialized supersonic interceptors, including the Sukhoi Su-9 Fishpot-A, Yak-28P Firebar, Tupolev Tu-128 Fiddler, Su-15TM Flagon-D, MiG-25PD/PDS Foxbat-D, and MiG-31 Foxhound.
Soviet Air Defence details the IA PVO's order of battle, aircraft types, and accounts of specific intercepts and incidents and is illustrated with more than 400 black/white and color photos and color profiles, producing a wealth of information for the aviation historian and enthusiast alike.
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Dmitriy Komissarov is a respected authority on Russian and Soviet aviation. He works in the publishing industry and lives in Moscow.
Yefim Gordon is one of Russia's leading aviation writers and publishers. He is the author of many books on Soviet aviation and currently lives in Moscow.
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