Military of Moldova
|Military of Moldova|
Moldovan Ground Forces|
Moldovan Air Force
|1,066,459, age 18–49 (2005 est.)|
|693,913, age 18–49 (2005 est.)|
|43,729 (2005 est.)|
|Active personnel||5,000-6,000 (2011 est.)|
|Budget||around 16 million euros (2013 est.)|
|Percent of GDP||0.1% (2011 est.)|
Moldova has accepted all relevant arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union. On October 30, 1992, Moldova ratified the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which establishes comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment and provides for the destruction of weapons in excess of those limits. It acceded to the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in October 1994 in Washington, DC. It does not have nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons.
A transition to a professional force of 12,000 to 15,000 volunteers was planned at first, but when fighting erupted in 1991 between supporters of the central government in Chișinău and supporters of separatist regions, males between eighteen and forty years of age were mobilized, and the size of Moldova's military was temporarily expanded to meet the demands of the Transnistrian conflict. In early 1995, the armed forces totaled some 11,000 volunteers, and there were plans to gradually create a professional army, similar to that of the United States.
At the beginning of 1994, the Moldovan Ground Forces (under the Ministry of Defense) consisted of 9,800 men organized into three motor rifle brigades, one artillery brigade, and one reconnaissance/assault battalion. Its armaments consisted of fifty-six ballistic missile defenses; seventy-seven armored personnel carriers and sixty-seven "look-alikes;" eighteen 122 mm and fifty-three 152 mm towed artillery units; nine 120 mm combined guns/mortars; seventy AT-4 Spigot, nineteen AT-5 Spandrel, and twenty-seven AT-6 Spiral anti-tank guided weapons; one hundred thirty-eight 73 mm SPG-9 recoilless launcher, forty-five MT-12 100 mm anti-tank guns; and thirty ZU-23 23 mm and twelve S-60 57 mm air defense guns. Moldova has received some arms from former Soviet stocks maintained on the territory of the republic as well as undetermined quantities of arms from Romania, particularly at the height of the fighting with Transnistria.
By 2006-7, the Moldovan Ground Forces had been reduced to a strength of 5,710, including three motor rifle brigades, one artillery brigade, and independent Special forces and engineer battalions, plus an independent guard unit. Equipment and weaponry included 44 BMD-1 AIFVs, and 266 APCs, including 91 TAB-71s, as well as 227 artillery pieces.
In 1994 the Moldovan Air Force consisted of 1,300 men organized into one fighter regiment, one helicopter squadron, and one missile brigade. Armaments used by the air force included thirty-one MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft, eight Mi-8 Hip helicopters, five transport aircraft (including an Antonov An-72 Coaler), and twenty-five SA-3 Goa/SA-5 Gammon surface-to-air missiles.
The 86th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment had been located at Mărculești since October 1951, and had been reequipped with MiG-29s in 1988. It had been part of the 119th Fighter Aviation Division, which had been resubordinated to the Soviet Black Sea Fleet since December 1989.
Twenty-one of the MiG-29s were sold to the United States in October 1997 to prevent their sale on the world market, and for research purposes. All the spare parts for those aircraft were also purchased, as were the accompanying 500 air-to-air missiles. All the aircraft were transported from Moldova to the National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in C-17 Globemaster III transport planes over a period of two weeks.
As of 2006 all the MiG-29 fighters had either been sold or scrapped, and the Moldovan Air Force had only 2 An-2 Colts, 1 An-26 Curl, 2 An-72 Coalers, 8 Mi-8 Hips, and 12 SA-3 'Goa' SAMs in service, manned by 1,040 personnel.
Other military forces also existed within Moldova. In early 1994, the government of the "Dnestr Republic" had armed forces of about 5,000 which included the Dnestr battalion of the Republic Guard and some 1,000 cossacks.
As of early 1994, the former Soviet 14th Guards Army (about 9,200 troops) consisted of one army headquarters, the 59th Guards Motor Rifle Division, one tank battalion, one artillery regiment, and one anti-aircraft brigade. Their equipment and weaponry consisted of 120 main battle tanks, 180 armoured fighting vehicles, and 130 artillery pieces/multiple rocket launchers/mortars. The remainder of the 14th Guards Army had been over the border in Ukraine and was absorbed by the Ukrainian armed forces.
Around 1994, peacekeepers in Transnistria consisted of six airborne battalions supplied by Russia, three infantry battalions supplied by Moldova, and three airborne battalions supplied by the "Dnestr Republic."
By 2007 the now-Russian force, now designated the Operational Group of Russian Forces in Moldova, under the command of the Moscow Military District had withered away to a strength of some 1500 which included two motor rifle battalions, an independent security and support battalion, a helicopter detachment and several smaller, administrative detachments.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Army of Moldova.|
- Library of Congress Country Studies: Moldova, The Armed Forces, June 1995
- Routledge/IISS, IISS Military Balance 2007, p.170
- Michael Holm, 86th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, accessed September 2011
- Arms Control Association: Arms Control Today: U.S. Buys Moldovan Aircraft to Prevent Acquisition by Iran
- DefenseLink News Transcript, DoD News Briefing: Cooperative Threat Reduction Initiative