Eye-Catching AFB: KUCOVA (Albania)

Again an attractive and well known airbase in Albania...it's "Berat" AB or as widely known "Kucova" AB which is located 60km to the south of capital Tirane.

4030 Regiment (Mig-15bis, JJ-5, J-6) and 3rd squadron of 4004 regiment (Mig-15bis & UTI) were deployed in this base, even "Top Gear" team drove through here between these sadly retired airframes...

Around 37 aircraft of J-6's (Chinese Mig-19) and Mig-15UTI's are lined outdoor...actually I couldn't recognize any JJ-5 among these...

Albanian air force received around 38 ex-North Korean Mig-15bis & UTI in mid 1950s, also in late 1950s received around 12 Mig-19's which were later on exchanged with Chengdu J-7's (Chinese Mig-21) after the collapse of USSR-Albanian relations.

Tunnels been dug inside the hill with few entries to hide numbers of aircraft as Mig-15UTI and J-5 as shown above, this way is founded in "Gramsh" air base in Albania, as well as in some air bases in Serbia...

Outside, around 17 Mig-15, J-6 and J-5 are phased out also, it's reported that the collapse of Chinese-Albanian relations caused an extreme lack of spare parts which made maintenance so difficult and resulted in deadly incidents costing the life of more than 35 pilots.

Albanian air force received around 20 Nanchang CJ-6 trainers (the Chinese Yak-18), at least 8~10 units are retired here.

4 Y-5B's (Chinese An-2) are still in good condition, seems that there is maintenance facility for such aircraft in this base.

Always thanks for Chris for his permission to use his great photos.


  1. Hello, very nice to see all those old school migs lined up..
    About the underground bases you mentioned, they are not in Serbia, except from Slatina AB, but that one is in Kosovo.
    The biggest one in ex YU was on the Croatia-Bosnia border, near the town of Bihač, destroyed during the yugoslav conflict by Yu army, retreating from the area with tons of explosives.
    It is called Željava AB, and it was home to mig-21's with underground tunnels and installations directly inside the mountain and was top secret at the time...
    Here's a linky if you wish to check it out...


    Anyway, very good photos, again.

    Best regards

  2. Vasko..thx a lot for your correction & addition

    honestly i remember that there was a Mig-21 AB in Yu with underground tunnels but i thought it was in nowadays-Serbia.

    Thx a lot

  3. Hey R.S, Sorry for commenting on old posts, but I think you will like this...
    Some pics of active Albanian migs:

  4. Vasko...amazing..!!!
    many thx !!!