Armed Forces of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan

Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic

Coat of Arms of the Kyrgyz Armed Forces
Founded circa 1992
Service branches Kyrgyz Army
Kyrgyz Air Force
Kyrgyz National Guard
Kyrgyz Frontier Force
Headquarters Bishkek
Commander-in-Chief President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev
Minister of Defence Taalaibek Omuraliev [1]
Chief of General Staff of Armed Forces Alymkojoev Asanbek
Military age 18
Conscription 18 months
Available for
military service
1,234,457 (2002 est.), age 15–49
Fit for
military service
1,001,274 (2002 est.), age 15–49
Reaching military
age annually
50,590 (2002 est.)
Active personnel 15,500 (IISS 2007)
Reserve personnel 10,000
Budget 1.4 billion soms (IISS 2007)
Foreign suppliers  Russia
 United States

The Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic, originally formed from former Soviet forces of the Turkestan Military District stationed in the newly independent state, includes the Army, the Air Force, Air Defence Forces, the Northern and Southern Groups of Forces, Interior Troops, Agency of National Security and Border Troops.

For much of the Soviet period, since 1967, the 8th Guards 'Panfilov' Motor Rifle Division was the main military force in the country, and the Division was only disbanded in January 2003.[2] In 1967 the Division had been moved to Bishkek from the Baltic Military District, where it had previously been based.

In terms of foreign presence, the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom coalition use the Manas Air Base (Bishkek's international airport) until June 2014. While Russia has the 999th Air Base at Kant which was set up by Moscow to counter the American military presence in the Former Soviet state. Moscow is believed to have promised Bishkek $1.1 billion for modernising its army. Agreements to this effect were reached during the visits to Bishkek by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov in August and President Vladimir Putin in September 2012.[3]


Military guard of honor near a monument in Bishkek's main square

The Army of Kyrgyzstan includes the 1st Motor Rifle Brigade (Mountain) at Osh, a brigade at Koy-Tash, in the Bishkek area, the 25th Special Forces Brigade, independent battalions at Karakol and Naryn, a brigade at Balykchi, and other units.

Two Groups of Forces, the Southern, and more recently the Northern, have been active during Kyrgyzstan's history. In 2004, the Northern Group of Forces was reported as consisting of the Balykchynsky brigade, the brigade deployed in suburb of Bishkek, separate battalions in Karakol and Naryn, and other army units.[4]


Kyrgyz soldiers participate in Exercise Regional Cooperation 2012
Minesweepers during training

Excluding the M120 mortar, all army equipment are Soviet or Russian in origin.






Towed Mortars

Multiple Rocket Launchers

Light equipment

Special Forces

Subordinated to the Ministry of Defence

Members of the 25th Special Force Brigade Scorpion in 2013

National Guard Special Forces

Agency of National Security

Ministry of the Interior

In August 2010, the Kyrgyz MOD received 45 Ford Ranger pickups and 44 Polaris quads from the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Military Cooperation to increase the mobility of Kyrgyz counterterrorism units, particularly in mountainous regions.[8]

Air Force

In downtown Bishkek. The sign says, "National Guard"

Kyrgyzstan's air arm was inherited from the central Soviet air force training school. This presented the nation a fleet of nearly 70 L-39s, dismantled MiG-21’s and several Mi-8’s and Mi-24’s. However, only a few L-39s and the helicopters are capable of flight. All Kyrgyz military aircraft are reportedly based at Kant, alongside the Russian 999th Air Base.[9] Because of expense and military doctrine, Kyrgyzstan has not developed its air capability; a large number of the MiG-21 interceptors that it borrowed from Russia were returned in 1993, although a number of former Soviet air bases remain available. In 1996 about 100 decommissioned MiG-21s remained in Kyrgyzstan, along with ninety-six L-39 trainers and sixty-five helicopters. The air defence forces have received aid from Russia, which has sent military advisory units to establish a defence system. The Russians also help patrol Kyrgyz airspace as part of the Joint CIS Air Defence System Presently Kyrgyzstan has twenty-six SA-2 and SA-3 surface-to-air missiles in its air defence arsenal. In 2002 the Kyrgyzstan government allowed the United States to use Manas air base for support operations in the War on terror. This agreement lasted till June 2014.[10][11]

Roundel of the Kyrgyzstan Air Force


Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Mil Mi-8 Russia utility 8[12]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack 4[12]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Czech Republic trainer 3[12] sold surplus units to Lithuania[13]

Air defence

References and links

  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2007-01-29. - accessed Aug 2007 and Jan 2008
  3. "Russia Gives $1.5 bln to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for Military Expenditure". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 19 November 2012.
  4. Vad777, accessed July 2008, reporting - 2004, a dead link
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Kyrgyzstan Army Equipment Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  6. Jane's Armour and Artillery 1997-98 ISBN 0-7106-1542-6
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 "-". 17 April 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  8. "Press release - Embassy of the United States Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  9. "World Air Forces 2000 pg. 73". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  10. "World Air Forces 2004 pg. 70". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  11. Joshua Kucera. "U.S. Formally Closes Its Kyrgyzstan Air Base". Eurasianet. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 World Air Forces 2014 "WAF 2014" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  13. "World Air Forces 1998 pg. 74". Retrieved 4 May 2015.

Further reading

External links

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