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Kazakhstan - Air Defence Forces

Kazakhstan’s Air Defense Forces (ADF) are comprised of an Air Force and ground-based ADF, which in 2009 had an estimated strength of 13,000. In 1995 the air force included an estimated 15,000 troops. After the withdrawal in 1994 of forty Tu-95MS nuclear-capable bombers, the Kazakstan Air Force was left with 133 combat aircraft, whose offensive capability relied on MiG-23, MiG-27, MiG-29, and Su-24 fighters with support from An-24 and An-26 transport and MiG-25 surveillance aircraft. Thirty air bases are scattered throughout the republic. In the 1990s Kazak pilots received little air training because units were staffed at only 30 to 50 percent of operational levels.

Organizationally, the ADF consisted of nine air bases and a ground-based AD regiment. The air fleet consisted in 2009 of 164 combat aircraft (including 40 MiG-29s, 14 Su-25s, 37 Su-24s, 14 Su-27s, 16 MiG-25s, and 43 MiG- 31s), a number of transport aircraft (Tu-134, Tu-154), 137 helicopters (Mi-8, Mi-24, and Mi-26), and a large number of trainers. Approximately 150 surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers are in service with the ground-based AD forces (SA-2, SA-3, SA-4, SA-6, and S-300). All aircraft are being maintained except those which the Air Force plans to replace. The average flying time for combat aircraft pilots is approximately 100 hours per year.

In pursuance of Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated by November 17, 1997 "About further measures on reformation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan" and order of Minister of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated by April 1, 1998 there were formed Air Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Air Forces of Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan were created on 01 June 1998. According to the order of commander-in-chief of Air defense forces dated by April 17, 2008 N 146 "About setting the date of formation of Air Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan" there was set the date of formation of Air Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan - 18 August (annually).

The mission of the Air Forces is to defend the air borders of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Air defense of public, administrative and military objects, and accomplishment of missions on air support of other arms and services of the Armed Forces. Aviation is the basic combat flexible arm of the Air Defense Forces, intended to protect main directions, districts and objects from the attacks of air adverse. Anti-aircraft missile troops are intended for conducting anti-aircraft missile defense and protecting state and military administration objects. Radio-radar troops (RRT) are intended for radio-radar surveillance of air adverse, reporting about beginning of enemy attack, control of law enforcement of airspace of Kazakhstan.

600 Air BaseMiG-27, MiG-23UB
602 Air BaseMiG-27, MiG-23UB
604 Air BaseSu-24/-24MR
610 Air BaseMiG-25RB/RU
U/I Air BaseMi-26, Mi-8, Mi-8PPA ELINT
U/I Air BaseMi-24, Mi-8, Mi-9
U/I Air BaseMi-8, Mi-17
U/I Air BaseAn-30, An-24, An-26, An-72
U/I Air BaseMi-8
U/I Air BaseYAK-18T
U/I Air BaseL-39C
Air Defence Forces consist of: military-air forces; anti-aircraft defense forces; air movement management bodies; and military educational institutions. Main tasks of Air Defence Forces are security provision of air boundaries of the Republic of Kazakhstan; anti-aircraft Defence of state, administrative and military objects; and fulfilling battle tasks on aviation support of other types and branches of Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

North Korea has proven skillful in manipulating international sanctions on ar ms trading. In 1999, North Korea attempted to import MiG-21 jet fighters from the Kazakh air force through a small Czech company called “Agroplast” (Kuranov, 1999). Originally, in 1996, North Korea intended to buy 133 MiG-21 fighters from the Kazakhstan government; however the deal was called off due to US intervention. But the deal was revived three years later, albeit illicitly. A former Kazakh Colonel and arms trader disguised a contract document in which the Czech firm Agroplast was listed as the buyer, instead of the North Korean company. Agroplast was also involved in illegal arms trade with other countries such as Iran, Libya and Ecuador. It also used complicated routes to move cargo. The cargo aircraft chartered in Russia flew into Kazakhstan to upload six disassembled MiGs, and other military equipment, stopped at Baku for refueling, where the Azerbaijani customs intercepted the transaction.

In March 2003, due to the beginning of war in Iraq the Ministry of defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan took measures on provision of military security of the country according to requirements of the President – Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Radio location control of air space was strengthened. There was provided cover of troops and objects of West strategic destination, Astana and other cities with fighter aviation, antiaircraft missile systems. Forces and means of antiterrorist, anti sabotage ,radiation and biological protection were brought into readiness. There was created an operative group on coordination efforts of troops of defense and security offices of the republic.

From 15-18 April 2003 there were conducted tactical exercises of Anti-aircraft units of military commands and Directorate of Air defense forces on range Saryshagan (Karaganda oblast). They were a constituent part of large scale Strategic exercises “Batys-2003”. Actions of on duty military men and means of Anti-aircraft missile system on provision of guard of air space were worked during the exercises. Anti-aircraft missile system units of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan took part in the exercises.

““KADEX-2010” was a good opportunity to attract big foreign producers of military and special production to the Republic, to show perspectives of further development of domestic enterprises in the frames of creation of joint hi-tech production.” Minister of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan Adilbek Dzhaksybekov underlined in the speech of welcome. Pilots of Air defense forces organized an air show. SU-27 and MiG-29 aircraft piloted by high class air force officers made aerial stunts.

The command-staff exercise "Air Forces 2011" was conducted in June 2011 in the south-east of Kazakhstan in the framework of large-scale exercise "Shygys-2011" on "Kyzyl-Agash" training ground. Air Forces of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation attended. Heads of flights settled issues of well-coordinated control of aviation and flight crews of two countries will fulfill the practical skills of interaction in the air.

In April 2012 in the frames of preparation for the exhibition of weapons systems and military equipment «KADEX-2012" there were conducted Air Force training flights in the Astana sky. Minister of Defence, generals and officers of the Ministry of Defence were watching training flights. During the exhibition Air Force aviation was a significant component of the upcoming event. A large number of aircraft were presented in the exhibition on the ground. Large air show program in the sky is scheduled as well. Along with the Kazakhstani Air Force aerobatic teams "Sunkar", "Zhetysu" and "Alatau" there will be conducted flights of aerobatic team "Russian Knights" of the Air Forces of Russia.



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