Air Force - Missions and tasks

Within the framework of the National Security Strategy, the Air Force fulfills the following functions: restraining, defensive, peace and security keeping, humanitarian, rescue, integration and social ones.

The primary mission of the Air Force is to guarantee the air sovereignty and security of the country, and jointly with the other services, to protect its territorial integrity. The Air Force accomplishes this mission in the system of collective security and defence by building capabilities for participation in fulfilling the basic missions and tasks of the Bulgarian Army:

  • “Defense” (under Article 5 of Washington Treaty), includes defence of the country in the system of collective defence, and participation of the military airborne component in collective defence activities outside the territory of the country;
  • “Support for the international peace and security” (non-Article 5 of the Washington Treaty), includes participation (with expeditionary forces) in international crises response operations outside the territory of the country; participation in international peace and security enforcement operations; participation in international military cooperation and in international or bilateral formations; participation in the arms control and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as in international humanitarian operations;
  • “Contribution to the national security in peacetime”, includes: surveillance, control and protection of the air space, and jointly with the other services – protection of the national territory and maritime spaces;
  • air defence of strategic sites on the territory of the country;
  • participation in the struggle against terrorism, organized crime and human trafficking, as well as trafficking of arms and drugs;
  • participation in search-and-rescue operations;
  • support and protection of the population at times of natural disasters, industrial breakdowns, and catastrophes;
  • contribution to the activities of other state bodies and agencies;
  • preparation of the infrastructure for crisis response and support of military airborne contingent as a host country;
  • participation in the preservation of natural environment.



Organizationally construction of Bulgarian aerial navigation begins in 1903. The established back then Balloon Activities Team evolves in 1906 into a combat unit to the railways battalion, called “Aerial navigation detachment”. In 1911, the government takes decision to prepare pilots and aeromechanics abroad, and to purchase aircraft, as a result of which in 1912 Bulgaria has its own airborne armada.  On October 16th 1912, the first combat mission with the participation of an aircraft was accomplished as a result of which this date is considered to be the birthday of the military aviation of Bulgaria.