Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic

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Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic
Кыpгыз Pecпyбликacынын Кypaлдyy Kyчтөpү (Kyrgyz)
Вооруженные силы Кыргызской Республики (Russian)
Armed Forces of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.svg
Seal of the Kyrgyz Armed Forces
Military Ensign of Kyrgyz Armed Forces (Kyrgyz).svg
Ensign of Kyrgyz Armed Forces
Motto Милдет, Намыс, Ата-Мекен (Duty, Honor, and Fatherland)
Founded May 29, 1992[1]
Service branches Kyrgyz Army
Kyrgyz Air Force
Kyrgyz National Guard
Kyrgyz Frontier Force
Headquarters Bishkek
Commander in Chief Flag of the President of Kyrgyzstan.svg Sooronbay Jeenbekov
Chairman of the State Committee for Defense Affairs Ministry of Defense Kyrgyzstan seal.svg Colonel Erlis Terdikbayev
Chief of the General Staff Military Ensign of Kyrgyz Armed Forces (Kyrgyz).svg Rayimberdi Duishenbiev
Military age 18
Conscription 12 months (high school graduates)
9 months (university graduates)
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[2]
Related articles
Ranks Military ranks of Kyrgyzstan

The Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic, originally formed from former Soviet forces of the Turkestan Military District stationed in newly independent Kyrgyzstan, 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.

In terms of foreign presence, the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom coalition used the Manas Air Base (Bishkek's international airport) until June 2014. In response, Russia set up the 999th Air Base at Kant 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]

Kyrgyzstan hosted the Second CIS Military Sports Games in 2017 in Balykchy town. The games included various competition in shooting, fighting, etc.[4]


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

For much of the Soviet period, since 1967, the 8th Guards 'Panfilov' Motor Rifle Division was the main military force in the country. In 1967 the division had been moved to Bishkek from the Baltic Military District, where it had previously been based. It was only disbanded in January 2003.[5] However, in 2011 reports said the division had been reformed with its headquarters in Tokmak.

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.[6]


Kyrgyz Armed Forces have inherited conscription from the Armed Forces of USSR. The length of conscription was reduced to 12 from initial 18 in 2006. Today, Kyrgyz Armed Forces employ a policy of reducing the service period for university graduates to 9 months. [7]

Alternative service exists, however, it is only offered to conscripts who belong to certain religious groups. [8]


Kyrgyz soldiers participate in Exercise Regional Cooperation 2012


Name Origin Type In service Notes
Armored fighting vehicle
T-72 Soviet Union Main battle tank 150[9]
BTR-80 Soviet Union Amphibious APC 10[9]
BTR-70 Soviet Union Amphibious APC 25[9]
BRDM-2 Soviet Union Amphibious APC 30[9]
BMP-1 Russia Infantry fighting vehicle 230[9]
BMP-2 Russia Infantry fighting vehicle 90[9]
122mm howitzer D-30 Soviet Union Howitzer 107[9] 35 are the M-30 standard.
152mm howitzer D-1 Soviet Union Howitzer 16[9]
100mm field gun BS-3 Soviet Union Field gun 18[9]
T-12 antitank gun Soviet Union Field gun 18[9] 100mm round
Self-Propelled Artillery
2S1 Soviet Union Self-propelled howitzer 18[9]
2S9 Anona Soviet Union Self-propelled howitzer 12[10]
BM-21 Grad Soviet Union Multiple rocket launcher 15[9]
BM-27 Uragan Soviet Union Multiple rocket launcher 6[9]

Special Forces

Subordinated to the Ministry of Defence

Members of the 25th Special Force Brigade Scorpion in 2013
  • 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 snow leopard 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.

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.[11]

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.[12] 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, as of 2017 only 29 MiG-21s are in working order, in service 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.[13][14]

Roundel of the Kyrgyzstan Air Force


Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Mil Mi-8 Russia utility 8[15]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack 4[15]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Czech Republic trainer 3[15] sold surplus units to Lithuania[16]

Military Education

References and links

  1. ^ "As it turns out, May 29th marks the anniversary of the creation of the Kyrgyz Military".
  2. ^ "Peace Research Institute". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Russia Gives $1.5 bln to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for Military Expenditure". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 19 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Second Military Sports Games of CIS kick off in Kyrgyzstan".
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2007-01-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) - accessed Aug 2007 and Jan 2008
  6. ^ Vad777, accessed July 2008, reporting - 2004, a dead link
  7. ^ 1. Conscription
  8. ^ 2. Conscientious objection
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kyrgyzstan Army Equipment Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  10. ^ Jane's Armour and Artillery 1997-98 ISBN 0-7106-1542-6
  11. ^ "Press release - Embassy of the United States Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  12. ^ "World Air Forces 2000 pg. 73". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  13. ^ "World Air Forces 2004 pg. 70". Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  14. ^ Joshua Kucera. "U.S. Formally Closes Its Kyrgyzstan Air Base". Eurasianet. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  15. ^ a b c "WAF 2014" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  16. ^ "World Air Forces 1998 pg. 74". Retrieved 4 May 2015.

Further reading

  • O'Mallery, William D., and McDErmott, Roger N., 'Kyrgyzstan's Security Tightrope,' Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 16, No. 3, September 2003, 72-111
  • Martha Brill Olcott, Library of Congress Country Study Kyrgyzstan, National Security, 1996
  • Henry Plater-Zyberk, Kyrgyzstan - Focusing on Security, Conflict Studies Research Centre K41, November 2003

External links

  • Armed Forces of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan official site (in Kyrgyz)
  • Armed Forces of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan official site (in Russian)
  • Ministry of Emergency Situation (Kyrgyzstan) official site
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs (Kyrgyzstan) official site
  • Kyrgyzstan military ranks
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