A new academy for the Uzbek Air Force was inaugurated at Karshi air base in southern Uzbekistan in the presence of senior officials from the country’s ministry of defence in early September. This academy will provide training for Uzbek pilots and engineers, with a capacity of 300 students.
As part of the new academy, Thales signed a contract with Uzbekistan for the supply of a flight simulator for the H125 Fennec helicopter. This flight simulator will provide initial training for pilots of the Uzbek Air Force as well as emergency procedures training. The simulator was delivered to Karshi in August. In a press release, the company stated: “The installation was carried out in an entirely new building intended to become the first academy in the country. This operation, which perfectly meets the customer’s requirements, is in line with the helicopter pilot training projects undertaken by Thales over many years.”
A total of ten H125Ms entered Uzbek Air Force service from 2016. Uzbekistan also ordered an initial eight AS532AL Cougar helicopters and all had been delivered by 2016. An additional three were seen at the Airbus Helicopters production facility in Marignane, southern France late last year.
The operating unit for both the Fennec and Cougar is the 66th Independent Helicopter Regiment (66 OVP) stationed at Chirchik, in northeast Uzbekistan. The same regiment also operates examples of the Mi-8/17 and Mi-24P/V.
Other Western equipment recently added to the Uzbek Air Force includes the C295W. The initial example destined for the air arm was first noted undertaking a test flight from Seville in June 2015. All four of these transports had been delivered by May 2016. The C295s serve with an unidentified transport unit normally based at Tashkent-Vostochny. However, base reconstruction work from April 2018 saw the C295s temporarily moved to Chirchik.