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(Russian, eskadra). (1) In various states, a large naval formation composed of units of various sizes drawn from various naval services and intended for action in a specific area of a maritime theater of operations.
(2) Until the mid-20th century, an operational and tactical unit of naval surface ships, formed to destroy units of large vessels and convoys at sea and to deliver artillery fire at shore installations.
(3) In some foreign states, the main operational and strategic unit of atomic-powered missile-carrying submarines, intended for action in a maritime theater of operations.
(4) A large unit of ships operating far from home ports.
(5) In several states, such as fascist Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, and France, an air force unit consisting of two or three aviation groups, with a total of 75–100 airplanes.
(Russian, eskadril’ia). (1) The main tactical and fire subunit of aviation and helicopter units of the air force and other branches of the armed forces, consisting of several flights or detachments of airplanes or helicopters. Depending on the individual combat arm, a squadron may have from ten to 30 airplanes or helicopters. Several squadrons make up an aviation or helicopter regiment, aviation wing, or aviation group.
(2) A missile subunit in the French and other armies.
(Russian, eskadron). (1) A tactical subunit of the regular cavalry, usually consisting of from two to four troops. The corresponding unit in the cossack cavalry was the sotnia. In the armies of various states, squadrons comprised from 120 to 200 men; four to six squadrons made up a cavalry regiment. The cavalry of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army had saber squadrons (composed of four saber troops and an administrative group) and machine gun squadrons (composed of four machine gun troops, each having four machine guns mounted on horse-drawn vehicles).
(2) In the armed forces of Great Britain, a tactical subunit of a tank regiment, comprising 101 men. It consists of an administrative group, four tank troops, and a maintenance troop. A tank regiment also has a staff squadron of 100 men and a maintenance squadron of 111 men.