In the latest of our fleet survey series, Alexander Mladenov concludes his analysis of Frogfoot operators among the former Soviet states with a look at Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Su-25 operators Part 3
Turkmenistan is one of the most active Su-25 operators among the ex-Soviet states and even worldwide, investing heavily in the enlargement and depot-level maintenance of its Frogfoot fleet. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 the country inherited 39 early-production Su-25 single-seaters, kept in longterm storage at the 56th Aircraft Storage Base at Kyzyl-Arvat airfield. Then, between 2002 and 2004, Turkmenistan purchased 16 newly built aircraft from TAM in Georgia, including ten Su-25K single-seaters and six Su-25U two-seaters, in addition to a single upgraded Su-25KM – ‘47 Blue’. The latter was, in fact, the Su-25KM prototype, a joint project between TAM and Israel’s Elbit Systems, boasting new navigation and targeting avionics.