Military of Kyrgyzstan

Military of Kyrgyzstan
Military of Kyrgyzstan
Military guard of honor near a monument in Bishkek's main square
Founded circa 1992
Service branches Land Forces, Air Forces, Border Guards, Interior Troops, Ministry of Emergency Situations
Headquarters Bishkek
Commander-in-Chief Roza Otunbayeva
Minister of Defence Ismail Isakov[1]
First Deputy Defence Minister and Chief of General Staff Colonel General Alik Mamyrkulov
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)

The armed forces of Kyrgyzstan, originally formed from former Soviet forces of the Turkestan Military District stationed in the newly independent state, includes the Army/Land Forces, the Air and 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) 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.



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.[3]







Towed Mortars

  • Soviet Union 2S12 Sani - 6
  • Israel M120 - 48

Multiple Rocket Launchers

Light equipment

  • Soviet Union Makarov PM pistol
  • Soviet Union TT-33 pistol
  • Russia PP-2000 submachine gun (elite units only)
  • Soviet Union AK-47 assault rifle
  • Soviet Union AKM assault rifle
  • Soviet Union AK-74 assault rifle
  • Russia AK-101 assault rifle (elite units only)
  • Soviet Union AKS-74U carbine
  • Soviet Union SKS carbine
  • Soviet Union RPK light machine gun
  • Soviet Union PKM general purpose machine gun
  • Soviet Union NSV heavy machine gun
  • Soviet Union DShK heavy machine gun
  • Soviet Union Dragunov SVD sniper rifle
  • Soviet Union RPG-7 rocket launcher
  • Soviet Union GP-25 grenade launcher
  • Soviet Union AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher
  • Soviet Union SPG-9 recoilless rifle

Special Forces

Subordinated to the Ministry of Defense

  • 25th Special Force Brigade Scorpion. This brigade was formed in 1994. It began as the 525th Special Company, and now Scorpion is the best brigade in the country. Soldiers of this brigade use modern weapons and equipment.
  • "Ilbirs" brigade. Ilbirs means Tiger in the Kyrgyz language. It was formed in April 1999. At that period it was the 24th Special Forces Battalion.

National Guard Special Forces

  • The National Guard of Kyrgyzstan has an Airborne Battalion, Panther.
  • Bars (Барс) and Edelweiss units

Agency of National Security

  • Alfa is an anti-terrorist unit. Almost all former Soviet countries' National Security Agencies have special teams called "Alfa". "Alfa" is a top-secret unit; there is no information available about it.

Ministry of the Interior

  • "SOBR" (СОБР) is a special team, similar to the American SWAT teams. SOBR also exists in Russia and many other post-Soviet countries.

Air force

Roundel of the Air Force of Kyrgyzstan.svg

The Air and Air Defense Force includes a regiment of MiG-21s and L-39s, four Antonov transports, and a helicopter regiment (apx 23 Mi-8, 9 Mi-24). Estimates for the numbers of MiG-21s range from 48 to 60-odd. 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.

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 defense forces have received aid from Russia, which has sent military advisory units to establish a defense system. The Russians also help patrol Kyrgyz airspace as part of the Joint CIS Air Defense System Presently Kyrgyzstan has twenty-six SA-2 and SA-3 surface-to-air missiles in its air defense arsenal.

Aircraft inventory

In downtown Bishkek. The sign says, "National Guard"
Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[5] Notes
Fighter Aircraft
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed  Soviet Union fighter MiG-21 0 flyable[6] 100 acquired from ex-USSR.
Transport and Liaison Aircraft
Antonov An-12 Cub  Soviet Union transport An-12 2
Antonov An-26 Curl  Soviet Union transport An-26 2
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Albatros  Czechoslovakia light attack/trainer L-39 4 96 acquired from ex-USSR.
Attack Helicopters
Mil Mi-24 Hind  Soviet Union attack Mi-24 9 31 in storage
Transport and Utility Helicopters
Mil Mi-8 Hip
Mil Mi-17 Hip-H
 Soviet Union transport/attack Mi-8
23 2 in storage

Air defense

References and links

  1. ^ Military Technology, World Defence Almanac Vol. XXXII, Issue 1, 2008, p.248
  2. ^ - accessed Aug 2007 and Jan 2008
  3. ^ Vad777, accessed July 2008, reporting - 2004, a dead link
  4. ^ Jane's Armour and Artillery 1997-98 ISBN 0-7106-1542-6
  5. ^ Kyrgyzstan Air Force at
  6. ^ World Defence Almanac 2008, p.248
  • CIA World Factbook, 2003 edition.
  • IISS Military Balance, 2007 edition

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