Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Қазақстанның Қарулы Kүштері
Coat of arms military-of-kazakhstan.svg
Current form 1992
Service branches Ground Forces
Air and Air Defence Forces
Naval Forces
Republican Guard
Headquarters Astana, Almaty
Commander-in-Chief Nursultan Nazarbayev
Minister of Defence Adilbek Dzhaksybekov
Military age 18-45 years old;
Conscription Two years
Active personnel 65,800-100,000
Reserve personnel 237,000
Budget $1.125 billion U$D (FY10)
Percent of GDP 0.8% (2010 est.)
Foreign suppliers  Russia
 United States

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Қазақстанның Қарулы күштері Qazaqstannyñ Qarūly küshteri), is the name of the unified armed forces of Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstani military is a defence force consisting of the Ground Forces, Air and Air Defence Forces, Naval Forces, Republican Guard. The national defence policy aims which are based on the Constitution of Kazakhstan are to guarantee the preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state and the integrity of its land area, territorial waters and airspace and its constitutional order. The armed forces of Kazakhstan are performed under the authority of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense. The national defence policy aims which are based on the Constitution of Kazakhstan are to guarantee the preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state and the integrity of its land area, territorial waters and airspace and its constitutional order. The armed forces of Kazakhstan are performed under the authority of the Kazakhstani Ministry of Defense.



On May 7, 1992, the President of Kazakhstan took a number of actions regarding defence. He signed a decree on the 'establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan', the transformation of the State Committee of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan into the Ministry of Defence, on the attribution of Sagadat Nurmagambetov the military rank of Colonel General, and the appointment of General-Colonel Sagadat Nurmagambetov as Defence Minister of Kazakhstan. Mukhtar Altynbayev served as the Minister of Defence twice, most recently from December 2001 to 10 January 2007.

On July 6, 2000, a Presidential Decree "On the structure of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan" changed the structure: The Armed Forces returned to a dual structure (general-purpose forces and air defense forces). The Air Mobile Troops were created, the transition to the new military-territorial structure, established military districts, harmonized structure and deployment of troops. On August 7, Lieutenant-General A. B. Dzharbulov was appointed commander of the Southern Military District and Lieutenant-General E. Ertaev became commander of the Eastern Military District.

In February 2001 a Presidential Decree divided the functions of the Ministry of Defence and General Staff. According to the decree, the head of the General Staff subordinates all kinds of aircraft and type of troops and military districts, while the Minister of Defence has a mostly administrative and political functions. On March 30, Major General M. K. Sihimov was appointed commander of the Western Military Region. On October 12, M. Saparov was appointed to Chief of the General Staff and First Deputy of the Defence Minister. V. B. Elamanov became commander of the Air Mobile Troops. On December 8, a new Defense Minister was appointed: General K. Altynbayev, and on December 27, Major General K. K. Akhmadiev was appointed commander of the Air Defense Forces.

Today there are four regional commands: Regional Command Astana, Regional Command South at Taraz, Regional Command East at Semipalatinsk, Regional Command West at Aktobe, as well as the Air Defence Forces, the Air Mobile Troops with four brigades, and the Artillery and Missile Forces (formed as a separate branch on 7 May 2003).[1]

Kazakhstan has an Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO & strategic cooperation with the Turkish Armed Forces.

Ground forces

Regional Commands of Kazakhstan

On November 1, 1992, the First Army Corps was created in Kazakhstan, with its headquarters in Semipalatinsk.[2] Later, at its base was established the Eastern Military District, retitled on 13 November 2003 as Regional Command East.

Immediately prior to its dissolution, the 32nd Army consisted of the 78th Tank Division (Ayaguz); the 5202nd Base for Storage of Weapons and Equipment (BKhVT) Semipalatinsk; the 5203rd BKhVT Ust-Kamenogorsk; and the 5204th BKhVT at Karaganda.

Organisation of the Ground Forces

In the middle of the 1990s Kazakhstan's land forces included the 1st Army Corps (HQ Semipalatinsk), with the 68th Motor Rifle Division (Sary-Ozek, in Kyzylorda Province) – 2 motor-rifle and one tank regiment and the 78th Tank Division (Ayaguz).[3] While the 68th Division was called a motor-rifle formation, in equipment terms it had almost 300 tanks and about 500 armoured fighting vehicles. The 78th Tank Division had 350 tanks, 290 armoured fighting vehicles and 150 artillery pieces. The 210th Separate Training Center (a former motor rifle training division) had 6,000 soldier and officers and 220 tanks and 220 artillery pieces, so was a strengthened division. (It was often called the Division of Guards by Kazakh sources).

Some of Kazakhstan's officers have trained at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Today the Ground Forces include four regional commands:[4]

  • Regional Command "Astana" (Headquarters Karaganda) - the administrative boundaries of Akmola, Karagandy Province, Kostanay Province and North Kazakhstan. The command acts as the Supreme Commander's reserve. The commander of the district is Major General Vladimir Shatsky (as of April 2008). The District includes the 7th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade at Karaganda.
  • Regional Command "East" (Headquarters Semipalatinsk) - in the administrative boundaries of East Kazakhstan and Pavlodar Province (Families, Ust-Kamenogorsk, George, and Ayagoz Usharalsky garrisons). Commander of the district is Lt. Gen. Nikolai Pospelov (as of September 2008). The District has the 3rd Mechanized Division (formerly the 78th Tank Division) at Ayaguz, three (?) bases for storage of military equipment, 3rd Separate Motor Rifle Brigade at Usharal (Military Unit No.40398, formed on the basis of a motor rifle regiment of the 155th Motor Rifle Division), 4th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade at Novo-Akhmirovo, Ust-Kamenogorsk (Military Unit No.27943), a cannon artillery brigade, and an air defence missile brigade.
  • Regional Command "West", (Headquarters Atyrau) - in the administrative boundaries of the West Kazakhstan Province, Aktobe Province, Atyrau Province and Mangystau Province. The main task is ensuring the integrity of state borders, territorial integrity, sovereignty and economic interests of Kazakhstan in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea. In 2008, the commander of the district appointed general Alimzhan Kanagatovich Erniyazov. The District has separate motor rifle and artillery brigades.
  • Regional Command "South", (Headquarters Taraz) - in the administrative boundaries of Almaty Province, Zhambyl Province, South Kazakhstan Province and Kyzylorda Province. The district's main task is ensuring security in the south-eastern borders of the country. In 2008, General Alikhan Brimzhanovich Dzharbulov was appointed commander of the district. The District includes the 4th Motor Rifle Division at Sary-Ozek in Almaty Province, the 5th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade (Taraz, Military Unit No.85395, 1,500 personnel), the 6th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade (Shymkent, Military Unit No.35748, with five motor rifle and tank battalions, two artillery battalions), a mountain battalion, and the 210th Training Center. The 206th Reserve Division was previously stationed in this command area.
Members of the Kazakhstan Republican Guard perform precision drill routines during CENTRASBAT (Central Asian Peacekeeping Battalion) 2000 opening ceremonies

The Air Mobile Force

  • the 35th Air Assault Brigade at Kapshagai,
  • the 36th Air Assault Brigade at Astana,
  • the 37th Air Assault Brigade at Taldykorgan
  • Peacekeeping Brigades KAZBRIG & KAZBAT at Almaty[4][5][6]
Gen. Maj. Adilbek Aldaberpenov (left), Kazakhstan Air Mobile Forces commander, greets Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, Third Army/U.S. Army Central commanding general, 2009

Ground Forces equipment

Ground forces equipment includes:[7]

Infantry Fighting Vehicles

A Kazakh paratrooper

Towed Artillery

Self-propelled Artillery

Rocket Artillery

  • 122 mm BM-21 Grad - 57
  • 220 mm BM-27 Uragan - 90


  • 120mm 2B11/M-120 - 145

Security agencies and commando units

There are a number of special forces units reporting to various Kazakh security agencies which are not part of the Armed Forces. The National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan has the Arystan commando unit, KNS' Border Guards has a unit, the Police have units, and the Presidency is reported to have its own units also.

Additionally, a small Republican Guard exists, with 2,500 soldiers (1994), but this force is not considered a part of the Army. The Republican Guard was established on March 6, 1992, when the President of Kazakhstan signed a decree on their creation. The Republican Guard was established on the basis of a separate brigade of operational designation of the Internal Troops deployed in the village of Kaskelen district of Almaty region.[9] Two Republican Guard regiments were created, stationed in Astana and Almaty.

Kazakh Air and Air Defence Forces

Today the Kazakh Air and Air Defence Force has four fast jet bases:[10]

  • 600th Guards Air Base, Zhetigen, Nikolayevka, Almaty, with MiG-29s and Su-24s,
  • 602nd Air Base, Chimkent, with Su-17s and Su-25s,
  • 604th Air Base, Taldy-Kurgan, with MiG-27s and Su-27s,
  • 610th Air Base, Sary-Arka Airport, Karaganda, with MiG-31s.

As of November 2008 the Kazakh Air Force fielded the following equipment:[11]

Aircraft Type Versions In service[12] Notes
Fighter Aircraft
Mikoyan MiG-25 fighter MiG-25 16
Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter MiG-29/-29UB 15
Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound interceptor MiG-31/-31B 42 Ten aircraft to be refurbished by RSK MIG, Sept 2007.[13]
Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighter Su-27/-27UB 47
Ground-Attack Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer bomber Su-24 40
Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot attack Su-25/-25UB 14
Mikoyan MiG-27 Flogger attack MiG-27M/-27D unk An estimated 40 MiG-23UB/MiG-27 are still operational[14]
Mikoyan MiG-23 Flogger combat-trainer MiG-23UB unk
Transport and Liaison Aircraft
Antonov An-12 Cub tactical transport An-12 3
Antonov An-26 Curl tactical transport An-26 5
Attack Helicopters
Mil Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter (Russian modernisation) Mi-24P/-24V 36
Transport and Utility Helicopters
Mil Mi-8 Hip transport helicopter Mi-17/-17V-5 14
Mil Mi-26 Halo transport helicopter Mi-26T/-26TZ 22

Surface-to-Air Missiles include:

Naval Force

Kazakh naval emblem

Kazakhstan maintains naval forces operating on the Caspian Sea with a strength of 3,000, equipped with 12 inshore patrol craft; including 4 Almaty, 1 Dauntless, 5 Guardian, and 2 Zhuk class vessels.[15]

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye said in 2010 that the Kazakh navy consists of 9 patrol boats, including one Turkish-built boat, 4 1950s vintage German boats, 2 new Saigak boats built in Russia (13 tons(?)), 1 Dauntless class boat built in the US, and 1 Berkut-class boat built in Kazakhstan.[16]


  1. ^
  2. ^ For early information on Kazakstan's land forces, see also 'Kazakstan's Defence Profile Revealed,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 9 October 1993
  3. ^ Machine translated and cleaned up from a kazakh source at, 'Military-political safety of Kazakhstan'
  4. ^ a b Most specific unit information, including military unit numbers, locations, etc is sourced from Vad777, Kazakh Ground Forces, accessed February 2010
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies' Military Balance 2007, p. 319.
  8. ^ IISS (2007). The Military Balance 2007. London: Routledge for the IISS. pp. 319. ISBN 978-1-85743-437-8. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Vad777,, July 2010
  11. ^
  12. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  13. ^ and Reuben F Johnson, 'Kazakhstan signs MiG-31 update deal with Russia,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 12 September 2007, p.53
  14. ^ Airforces Monthly, May 2010
  15. ^ IISS Military Balance 2008, p.346
  16. ^
  • CIA World Factbook, 2003 edition.
  • See also Abai TASBULATOV, The Kazakhstani Republican Guard: Its Record and Development Prospects, Military Thought, No. 4, 2009, page(s): 136-142

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