Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Қазақстан Республикасының Қарулы Күштері (Kazakh)
Qazaqstan Respublikasınıñ Qarulı Küşteri
Вооруженные силы Республики Казахстан (Russian)
Coat of arms of the Kazakh Armed Forces
Flag of the Kazakhstan Armed Forces
Motto"Сильная Армия - сильный Казахстан!" (Strong Army - Strong Kazakhstan!)[1]
Founded7 May 1992; 31 years ago (1992-05-07)
Service branches
HeadquartersMinistry of Defence Building, Dostyk Street, Astana
Commander-in-chief Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Minister of Defense Colonel General Ruslan Jaqsylyqov
Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Marat Khusainov[2]
Military age18–27
Conscription1 year
Active personnel110,000 (2024)
Reserve personnel135,000 (2024)
BudgetUS$7,5 billion (2024)[3]
Percent of GDP3.8% (2024 est.)[3]
Domestic suppliersJSC National Company Kazakhstan Engineering
Foreign suppliers Russia
 South Korea
 United Kingdom
 United States[4]
Related articles
HistoryCivil war in Tajikistan
Iraq War
2022 Kazakh unrest
RanksMilitary ranks of Kazakhstan

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Қазақстан Республикасының Қарулы Күштері, Qazaqstan Respublikasynyñ Qaruly Küşterı, Russian: Вооружённые силы Республики Казахстан) is the unified armed forces of Kazakhstan. It consists of three branches (Ground Forces, Air Defense Forces, Naval Forces) as well as four independent formations (Air Assault Forces, Special Forces, Rocket and Artillery Forces, Territorial Troops). The National Guard, Civil Defense, Border Service and the State Security Service serve as militarized affiliates of the armed forces. The national defence policy aims are based on the Constitution of Kazakhstan. They 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 act under the authority of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defence.

General composition

The facade of the defence ministry.

The branches and subordinate bodies of the armed forces include:[5]


The Military Balance 2013 reported the armed forces' strength as; Army, 20,000, Navy, 3,000, Air Force, 12,000, and MoD, 4,000. It also reported 31,000 paramilitary personnel.[6]

General Staff

The General Staff is the main body for the management of the armed forces of the state in peacetime and wartime, coordinates the development of plans for the construction and development of the Armed Forces, other troops and military formations, their operational, combat and mobilization training, organizes and carries out strategic planning application and interaction of the Armed Forces, other troops and military formations, and also develops a plan for the operational equipment of the country's territory in 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 June 30, 1992, the Soviet Armed Forces' Turkestan Military District disbanded, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The most powerful grouping of forces from the Turkestan Military District then became the core of Kazakhstan's new military. Kazakhstan acquired all the units of the 40th Army (the former 32nd Army) and part of the 17th Army Corps, including 6 land force divisions, storage bases, the 14th and 35th air-landing brigades, 2 rocket brigades, 2 artillery regiments and a large amount of equipment which had been withdrawn from over the Urals after the signing of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

On July 6, 2000, a presidential decree returned the armed forces returned to a dual structure (general-purpose forces and air defense forces). The Airmobile Forces were also created, and it transitioned to a new military-territorial structure of established military districts. In February 2001, a decree divided the functions of the Ministry of Defence and General Staff. From 2000 to 2003, the transition of the Armed Forces to the brigade structure of troops was fully implemented.

Kazakhstan had its first military parade in its history at Otar Military Base on May 7, 2013, celebrating the Defender of the Fatherland Day as the national holiday for the first time ever. During the ceremony, the first woman was promoted to the rank of General.[8] Kazakhstan is a founding member of CSTO and SCO. Kazakhstan also has an Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO[9] & strategic cooperation with the Turkish Armed Forces.[10]


Peacekeeping in Tajikistan

During the civil war in Tajikistan, in accordance with the decision of the CIS countries, peacekeepers were sent to Tajikistan. The participants were Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.[11] At the initial stage, on September 10, 1992, one 300 man airborne assault battalion from the 35th Guards Air Assault Brigade was sent to Tajikistan. Later, in the spring of 1993, a consolidated battalion of three rifle companies was formed from three agencies: the Ministry of Defense, the Interior Ministry, and the Border Troops of the KNB. The combat task of the Kazakh military during the civil war in Tajikistan was to strengthen the checkpoints and outposts of the Russian border detachment in Kalai-Khumb. On April 7, 1995, in the Pshikhavr Gorge of the Pamirs, a company was ambushed, during which 17 people were killed, 33 were injured. Over the entire period of peacekeeping missions in Tajikistan, during the hostilities, the combined Kazakh battalion lost 54 soldiers killed and missing. The mission formally ended in 2000, and the peacekeepers left in 2001.[12]

UN Peacekeeping

Kazakhstan has one of the most extensive peacekeeping operations in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The KAZBAT is the main Kazakh peacekeeping military unit, falling under the 38th Air Assault Brigade (KAZBRIG) of the Airmobile Forces.[13] It was formed on 31 January 2000 by decree of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.[14] They are trained in accordance with NATO and United Nations standards and are therefore authorized to wear blue helmets while on duty and during parades.[15]


Since the COVID-19 pandemic in Kazakhstan broke out, volunteer military personnel have been called to serve to combat the virus. The volunteers are stationed at checkpoints and city facilities as well as patrolled the streets to enforce lockdowns.[16]


See also: List of countries in Europe by military expenditures

In 2012, a quarter of the budget allocated for the MoD was allocated for modernization, restoration, overhaul and the acquisition of weapons. From 2012 to 2014, defense spending amounted to 12 billion tenge.[17]


Ground Forces

Main article: Kazakh Ground Forces

Regional Commands of Kazakhstan

The 32nd Army had been serving in Kazakhstan for many years. The 32nd Army had been redesignated initially the 1st Army Corps (1988), then the 40th Army (June 1991). It came under Kazakh control in May 1992. On November 1, 1992, on the basis of units of the former Soviet 40th Army of the Turkestan Military District, the First Army Corps was created, with its headquarters in Semipalatinsk.[18] Later, at its base was established the Eastern Military District, retitled on 13 November 2003 as Regional Command East.

Today the Ground Forces include four regional commands:[19]

There are also the Airmobile Forces with four brigades, and the Artillery and Missile Forces (formed as a separate branch on 7 May 2003).[20]

Air and air defence forces

Main article: Kazakh Air Defense Forces

Air Force bases of Kazakhstan.

At the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the 24th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division with three aviation regiments and three separate regiments was stationed in Kazakhstan.[21] By late 1993 the Kazakhstan Air Force comprised a total of six regiments, with a further air defence fighter regiment. The 11th Division included the 129th Fighter-Bomber Regiment based at Taldy Kurgan, with MiG-27 'Flogger' aircraft and the 134th Fighter-Bomber Regiment at Zhangiz-tobe with MiG-27s. There was also the 149th Bomber Regiment at Zhetigen/Nikolayevka, with Sukhoi Su-24 'Fencers'. Independent elements comprised the 715th Fighter Regiment at Lugovaya, with MiG-29s and MiG-23 'Floggers'; the 39th Reconnaissance Regiment at Balkhash, with MiG-25RBs and Su-24MR "Fencer" aircraft, and the 486th Helicopter Regiment based at Ucharal with Mi-24 'Hind'. The sole air defence fighter aviation regiment was the 356th Fighter Aviation Regiment at Semipalatinsk with Mikoyan MiG-31 "Foxhound" air defence fighters, which had been part of the 56th Air Defence Corps of the 14th Independent Air Defence Army.[22] The Air Force was under the command of Major General Aliy Petrovich Volkov.

Today the Kazakh Air and Air Defence Force has four fast jet bases:[23]

On 28 October 2010, two strategic agreements signed today establish the framework for Eurocopter's creation of a 50/50 joint venture with Kazakhstan Engineering Kazakhstan to assemble EC145 helicopters, along with the sale of 45 of these locally assembled aircraft for government missions in the country.[24] On 28 November 2011, Eurocopter delivered the first of six EC145s ordered to date by the Kazakh Ministries of Defence and Emergencies.[25] Deliveries are to continue through 2017.

On 3 January 2012, Airbus Military signed a firm contract with Kazspetsexport, a state company belonging to the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan, to supply two EADS CASA C-295 military transport aircraft plus the related service support package for spare parts and ground support equipment. Additionally, a memorandum of understanding has been signed for a further six C295 aircraft, for which separate firm contracts will be signed progressively over the next few years. The first two aircraft will be delivered by April 2013 and for the remaining six aircraft a delivery schedule will be defined over the following years. This purchase likely represents a quid pro quo. In 2008, EADS made titanium sourcing agreements with Kazakh suppliers.[26]

In May 2012, Kazakhstan signed a letter of intent to acquire 20 Eurocopter EC725 helicopters. They were to be assembled in Astana by Kazakhstan Engineering.[27] These Eurocoptors will be fitted with modern systems made by the Turkish firm Aselsan.

Naval Forces

Main article: Kazakh Naval Forces

Kazakhstan's Naval Forces were established by presidential decree on 7 May 2003 in spite of being the largest landlocked country on earth. They operate on the Caspian Sea, based at Aktau. The Kazakh Naval Force has a strength of 3,000 personnel and is equipped with fourteen inshore patrol craft.[28]


Educational institutions

A hall in the National Defense University featuring national symbols as well as a photo of its patron, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in full dress uniform.
Cadets of the Military Institute of the Kazakh Ground Forces march in the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade.

The following higher educational institutions are the main military academies in Kazakhstan:

Other militarized educational institutions:

Secondary schools:

Women in the military

There are approximately 8,000-8,500 women serving in the Kazakh army.[33] Of those women, 750 are officers.[34] The Ministry of Defence has been working to promote women in the military through educational programs and career advancement opportunities. Only 2.1% of leadership positions within the Ministry of Defence are held by women.[35] The Ministry of Defence also hosts Batyr Arular, which is a nationwide competition for service men and women, showcasing their combat skills, combat readiness and overall physical ability. Batyr Arular gives awards for the best service women.[36]


Every year, all men aged 18 to 27 are called up for military service in Kazakhstan. There are a number of circumstances due to which one can be released from military service both on a temporary and permanent basis.[37]

See also


  1. ^ "В Казахстане состоялся первый Боевой парад |".
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "SIPRI Publications". Archived from the original on 2010-03-28.
  4. ^ Trade Registers. Retrieved on 2017-12-18.
  5. ^ Закон № 29 от 7 января 2005 года Республики Казахстан «Об обороне и Вооружённых Силах Республики Казахстан»
  6. ^ IISS 2013, 221.
  7. ^ "Kazakhstan forms radiation, chemical, biological defence unit". 28 April 2020.
  8. ^ "First Military Parade in Kazakhstan". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 7 May 2013.
  9. ^ Marketos, Thrassy N. (2008-11-21). China's Energy Geopolitics: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Central Asia. Routledge. ISBN 9781134106028.
  10. ^ "Kazakhstan and Turkey expand cooperation on defense". The Republic of Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. October 1, 2014. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020.
  11. ^ "Забытый батальон: Первые миротворцы РК до сих пор не имеют статуса участников боевых действий". (in Russian). 15 June 2019. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  12. ^ "Миротворцы как часть внешней политики Казахстана". Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  13. ^ "Central Asia and the Caucasus". Central Asia and The Caucasus, Information and Analytical Center. July 28, 2008 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ Gott, Kendall D.; Brooks, Michael G. (July 28, 2006). Security Assistance: U.S. and International Historical Perspectives. Combat Studies Institute Press. ISBN 9780160773464 – via Google Books.
  15. ^ "Defenders of the Fatherland Day in Kazakhstan. Congratulations on Defender of the Fatherland Day in Kazakhstan". Archived from the original on 2019-11-06. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  16. ^ May 2020, Zhanna Shayakhmetova in Nation on 7 (2020-05-07). "Kazakhstan Calls In Volunteers to Form Paramilitary COVID-19 Response Team". The Astana Times. Retrieved 2021-05-05.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ (2011-08-27). "Казахстан увеличивает расходы на армию и правоохранительные органы". Главные новости Казахстана - (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  18. ^ For early information on Kazakhstan's land forces, see also 'Kazakhstan's Defence Profile Revealed,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 9 October 1993
  19. ^ Most specific unit information, including military unit numbers, locations, etc. is sourced from Vad777, Kazakh Ground Forces Archived March 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, accessed February 2010
  20. ^ "Minimalist Watch, Swiss Watch, Best Swiss Made Watch". Archived from the original on 2020-09-09. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
  21. ^ Michael Holm, 24th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division, accessed October 2011. Note division was given as the 11th in Kazakhstan AF Restructures, Jane's Defence Weekly, 25 September 1993
  22. ^ Michael Holm (2015). "356th Fighter Aviation Regiment PVO [356-й истребительный авиационный полк ПВО] Military Unit: 54835".
  23. ^ Vad777,, July 2010
  24. ^ "HeliHub Kazakhstan buys 45 EC145s and signs production JV with Eurocopter". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  25. ^ "HeliHub First of six EC145s delivered to Kazakhstan". 28 November 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  26. ^ Defense Industry Daily, EADS-Signs-its-Own-Titanium-Deal-with-Kazakhstan
  27. ^ "Airbus Group". airbusgroup. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  28. ^ "Military Balance in Europe 2011"., March 07, 2011
  29. ^ "U1200000282.20120313.rus". Archived from the original on 21 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Historical information » Республиканская школа "Жас улан"".
  31. ^ "How to enter the "Republican school "Zhas- Ulan" | Electronic government of the Republic of Kazakhstan". Archived from the original on 2017-05-08.
  32. ^ "Karaganda". Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  33. ^ "8,000 women serve in the Kazakh army".
  34. ^ "Kazakh army women balance gender and responsibilities". 11 November 2015.
  35. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "Batyr Arular competition announces best servicewomen of 2016". 11 June 2016.
  37. ^ "Draft exemption or temporary deferral from military service | Electronic government of the Republic of Kazakhstan". Archived from the original on 2017-05-13.