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Pryluky

Pryluky (, ) is a city located on the Udai River in the Chernihiv Oblast, north-central Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of the Pryluky Raion ( district), the city itself is also designated as a separate municipality within the oblast. Located nearby is the Pryluky air base, a major strategic bomber base during the Cold War, which is Ukraine's largest airfield. The population of Pryluky was estimated at 64,900 in 2001.

Pryluky (air base)

Pryluky (also given as Priluki) is an air base in Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine located 6 km west of Pryluky. This airfield was Ukraine's primary Tupolev Tu-160 bomber base (with Uzyn having the nation's Tupolev Tu-95 fleet). There are revetments for 20 large aircraft.

Pryluky accepted the USSR's first Tu-160 (Blackjack) in April 1987, building its fleet up to 19 by 1994. By the mid 1990s, the Pryluky Regiment had lost its value as a combat unit. The 184th GvTBAP's 19 "Blackjacks" were effectively grounded because of a lack of technical support, spare parts and fuel. At this point in time, Ukraine considered the Tu-160s more of a bargaining chip in their economic negotiations with Russia. Certainly, they were of very limited value to Ukraine from a military standpoint, but discussions with Russia concerning their return bogged down. Between October 1999 and February 2000 Ukraine turned over 8 Tu-160 bombers to Russia to pay off energy debts; these are now at Russia's Engels-2 air base.

Units stationed at Pryluky included:

  • 184th Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment (184 GvTBAP). The regiment arrived at Priluky in April 1946, and at the same time was renumbered from 9th Long-Range Regiment of Guards to the 184th. It flew Tu-4s from 1950, Tu-16 aircraft beginning in 1955, then acquiring the Tupolev Tu-22M4 in 1984 and the Tu-160 from 1987 until 2000. It also flew the Tu-134UBL trainer.