Tartu: Air Base

Raadi, Аэродром Тарту

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
The history of the Cold War airfields: Tartu
by Bert Kondruss
Coordinates: N582416 E0264626 (WGS84) Google Maps
Elevation: 200'


Map with location of Tartu Air Base


Tartu is located in the east of Estonia. North of the city was an aerodrome. During the Cold War, there was a large air base of the Soviet Air Force for bomber and transport aircraft. Today, the airfield is closed.

During the Cold War


Soviet airbase for long-range bombers transport aircraft.

In the 1960s


Satellite image of Tartu Air Base, Estonia, 1965
Satellite picture from October 1965, direction of view approximately west (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Military aerodrome Tartu
The same image northed, but now very distorted. - At this point in time, the runway is 2500 m long (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
West end of runway
West end of runway - A grass runway is marked with dotted lines to the north of the paved runway. (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
East end of runway
East end of runway - Here, too, the markings of the grass runway are recognizable (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Transport aircraft Antonow An-12 in Tartu, Estonia
Two transport aircraft, presumably Antonov An-12 (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Aircraft An-12
For better visibility, the two planes are seen in the correct perspective and magnified. (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Tartu airfield, Estonia, with bomber Tupolev Tu-16
There are 7 Tupolev Tu-16 on the flight line. (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Aircraft Tu-16
These aircraft in the right perspective, too (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Soviet Tu-16 in Tartu
There are 8 more planes in this area, probably also Tu-16 (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Aircraft Tupolev Tu-16 in Tartu, Estonia
Image in correct perspective (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Tank farm and other facilities
Tank farm and other facilities (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Installations (Source: U.S. Geological Survey)


  • July 1965
    US agencies count at the airfield 2 medium swept-wing, 3 possible medium swept-wing and 7 light straight-wing aircraft.
    Source: /CIA/

In the 1970s


Map with Tartu Air Base, Estonia, 1973
Tartu Air Base on a map of the US Department of Defense from 1973 (Source: ONC D-3 (1973), Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin /PCL MC/)


US satellite image of Tartu Airfield, Estonia, June 1975
US satellite image from June 1975 - Compared to the 1965 picture, the ramp areas were extended and a new parking area was added in the southeast.

In the 1980s and early 1990s


  • 09/27: 3000 m x 60 m Concrete


132 TBAP: Tu-22M3, Tu-16 (1990).


Runway; main taxiway in the south; flight line and several large open parking pads. Obviously, the airfield did not have a direct railway connection.






Airfields in the vicinity

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