Kazakh Air Defence Forces
Қазақстан Республикасының Әуе қорғаныс күштері (Kazakh)
Emblem of the Kazakh Air Defence Forces
Founded1 June 1998; 26 years ago (1998-06-01)
Country Kazakhstan
TypeAir force
Size12,000 airmen,[1] 261 aircraft
Part ofKazakh Armed Forces
Supreme Commander-in-ChiefPresident Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Commander of the Air ForceKunurov Ruslan Zarlykovich [2]
Commander-in-Chief of the Air Defense ForcesDauren Kosanov[3]
Commander of anti-aircraft defense forcesNurtas Kabakov
Aircraft flown
AttackSu-24, Su-25, MiG-27
FighterMiG-23, MiG-29, Su-27, Su-30
HelicopterMil Mi-8, Mil Mi-17, Mil Mi-26, Bell UH-1, Eurocopter EC145
Attack helicopterMil Mi-24, Mil Mi-35
ReconnaissanceCAIG Wing Loong, Aeronautics Defense Orbiter, Elbit Hermes 90, Elbit Hermes 450, Elbit Skylark
TrainerAero L-39, Zlín Z 42
TransportAn-12, An-24, An-26, An-72, An-74, EADS CASA C-295, Boeing 757, Shaanxi Y-8

The Kazakh Air Defense Forces (Kazakh: Қазақстан Әуе қорғаныс күштері, Qazaqstan Äwe qorğanıs küşteri, Russian: Силы воздушной обороны Казахстана/Sily vozdušnoj oborony Kazahstana) is the aviation warfare branch of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Their responsibilities include protecting Kazakh airspace, as well as combat missions in support of other branches of the armed forces. The official holiday of the air forces is Aviation Day on August 18.

The Talgat Bigeldinov Military Institute of the Air Defence Forces serves as the only educational service of the air force, having trained cadets from foreign countries including Hungary, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan.[4][5][6]


Soviet era

In the first formation of the Central Asian Military District, it operated a Soviet Air Force district branch led by Major General M.P. Kharitonov. It operated in the early to mid-40s during the Second World War, and consisted of air brigades based on the territory of the Kazakh SSR.[7] The Central Asian Military District was reinstated in 1969 in relation with the increased hostility between the USSR and the People's Republic of China, by splitting the territories of the Kazakh SSR, Kyrgyzstan SSR and the Tajik SSR from the Turkestan Military District. The 73rd Air Army provided all air support for the district,[8] being known as the Air Forces of the Central Asian Military District from 1980 to 1988. Air defence was also provided by the 12th and 14th Air Defence Armies. In 1989 the military district was disbanded, being merged back into the Turkestan MD. This led to the amalgamation of the 73rd Air Army into the 49th Air Army of the TurkMD. The new air army inherited the headquarters of the 49th, but has taken the designation of the 73rd, so while air force units were nominally still subordinated to the 73rd AA, this was not the one of the CAMD with its HQ in Almaty, but another formation with its HQ in Tashkent.


At the time of the declaration of the independence of Kazakhstan and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the 24th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Division, as well as three other separate air regiments, were stationed in the country.[9] On May 7, 1992, a meeting was held in Almaty between Russian and Kazakh government representatives and an agreement was reached for the transfer of all units and formations of the Turkestan Military District, to the authority of Kazakhstan. On the same day President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree for the transformation of the State Committee of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan into the Ministry of Defence, and for the creation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. For the Air Force this included the following units:

The territory of the Kazakh SSR was provided air defence by two separate armies of the Air Defence Forces and the Kazakh military took control over their Kazakhstan-based assets:

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan have also inherited an army aviation unit.

Directly subordinated to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR:

The air defence and the army aviation units were kept separate from the air force, but by the time the Kazakhstan Air Defence Forces were established on 1 June 1998 they were merged into it.

By late 1993 the small Kazakh Air Force consisted of a six regiments as well as an air defence fighter regiment.

It included the following units:

Creation of Kazakh Air Defence Forces

On 17 November 1997, President Nursultan Nazarbayev issued a decree titled "On Further Measures for Reforming the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan". As instructed by this, on 1 April 1998, Minister of Defense Sagadat Nurmagambetov, announced the creation of the Air Defense Forces of the Armed Forces, with the first day of operation being 1 June 1998. On 17 April 2008, the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Defense Forces announced August 18 would be celebrated as 'Aviation Day.'[16]

In November 2007, Kazakhstan signed an agreement with Belarus, under which 10 Soviet-made Su-27 fighters were modernised at an aircraft repair plant in Baranavichy, designated for the Kazakh Air Defence Forces. In 2008, EADS agreed titanium sourcing agreements with Kazakh suppliers.[17] On 28 October 2010, Eurocopter created a 50/50 joint venture with Kazakhstan Engineering, under which 45 Eurocopter EC145s would be assembled locally for government use.[18] The first of six EC145s ordered by the Kazakh Ministries of Defence and Emergencies was delivered in November 2011.[19]

In early January 2012, Airbus Military and the state-owned Kazspecexport defence company, signed a contract to deliver two EADS CASA C-295 military transport aircraft, and a Memorandum of Understanding for another six aircraft, which were to be delivered over the course of the following year. In May 2012, Kazakhstan announced its intent to acquire 20 Eurocopter EC725 helicopters that were to be assembled in Astana by officials from Kazakhstan Engineering and fitted by the Turkish firm Aselsan.[20]



Current inventory

A Kazakh Sukhoi Su-27 on takeoff
A Kazakh Su-25
An Antonov An-72 of the Kazakh Air Force
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-27 Russia multirole/air superiority Su-27 / Su-27UB 20 / 4[1] 4 UBs provide conversion training
Sukhoi Su-30 Russia multirole/air superiority SU-30SM 23[1]
Mikoyan MiG-23 Soviet Union fighter MiG-23UB 2[1]
Mikoyan MiG-27 Soviet Union fighter bomber MiG-27D 12[1]
Mikoyan MiG-29 Soviet Union multirole MiG-29/MiG-29UB 12 / 2[1] 2 UBs provide conversion training
Mikoyan MiG-31 Soviet Union interceptor 31[1]
Sukhoi Su-25 Soviet Union attack Su-25/Su-25UB 12 / 2[1]
Airbus A400M Spain heavy transport 2 on order[27]
CASA C-295 Spain transport C-295M/W 8 / 1[1]
Antonov An-12 Soviet Union heavy transport 2[1]
Antonov An-26 Soviet Union transport 6[1]
Antonov An-72 Soviet Union heavy transport 2[1] STOL capable aircraft – one is a An-74[28]
Let L-410 Turbolet Czechoslovakia transport 2[29]
Bell UH-1 United States utility UH-1H 4[1]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility Mi-17V-5 / Mi-171Sh 20 / 6[1]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack Mi-24V 20[1]
Mil Mi-35 Russia attack Mi-35SM 12[1]
Mil Mi-26 Russia heavy lift / transport 4[1]
Eurocopter EC145 France utility 8[1]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Czechoslovakia jet trainer 17[1]
Zlín Z 42 Czechoslovakia basic trainer Z 242L 2[1]
CAIG Wing Loong China MALE UCAV 3[30]
TAI Anka Turkey UCAV 3[31]

In April 2024, it was reported that the US had acquired 81 obsolete Soviet-era combat aircraft from Kazakhstan, including MiG-31 interceptors, MiG-27 fighter bombers, MiG-29 fighters, and Su-24 bombers, for $2.26 million, equalling an average price of each plane of $19,300. It is likely they will be transferred to the Ukrainian Air Force, for use as a source of spare parts. [32][33][34][35]


The general composition of the Air and Air Defence Force is as follows:[36]

Today the Air and Air Defence Force has four jet bases:[37][38]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t International Institute for Strategic Studies (13 February 2024). The Military Balance 2024 (1st ed.). Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 978-1032780047.
  2. ^ "Назначен командующий военно-воздушными силами". kapital.kz.
  3. ^ "Распоряжение Главы государства" (in Russian). akorda.kz. 29 December 2022.
  5. ^ Военный институт Сил воздушной обороны им. дважды Героя Советского Союза Т. Я. Бегельдинова // Министерство обороны Казахстана
  6. ^ В небе он был неустрашим Archived 12 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine // «Красная звезда». 05.09.2013
  7. ^ Leo Niehorster, Order of Battle, CAMD, 22 June 1941, Orbat.com.
  8. ^ Holm, Michael. "73rd Air Army". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ Drozdov, Sergey (February 2016). "Была такая авиация [There Was Such an Aviation... Echo of Air Power Past]". Авиация и космонавтика [Aviation and Spaceflight]. 02–2016: 16–18.
  11. ^ Vasquez, Tim (September 2009). "Zhaneysmey - Russian Airfield Index". Survey of Russian Airfields: CIVILIAN AIRFIELDS AND RUSSIAN AND SOVIET AIR BASES. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  12. ^ Not listed by Drozdov. Listed in Jane's Defence Weekly 25 September 1993 and Holm, [1])
  13. ^ "Военная авиация Кыргызстана". techinformpress.ru. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  14. ^ "Кузница кадров иностранного разлива". 477768.livejournal.com. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  15. ^ bmpd (22 October 2017). "Бригада противовоздушной обороны Сил воздушной обороны Казахстана". bmpd. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  16. ^ https://www.mod.gov.kz/rus/struktura/vooruzhennye_sily_rk/sily_vozdushnoi_oborony/osnovnaya_informaciya; "Kazakhstan- Air Force".
  17. ^ Defense Industry Daily, EADS-Signs-its-Own-Titanium-Deal-with-Kazakhstan
  18. ^ "HeliHub Kazakhstan buys 45 EC145s and signs production JV with Eurocopter". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  19. ^ "HeliHub First of six EC145s delivered to Kazakhstan". 28 November 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Airbus Group". airbusgroup. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Генерал-лейтенант авиации Нурлан Орманбетов: СВО – всегда в процессе совершенствования". 18 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Командование". mod.gov.kz. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Казахстанская правда 18.09.2007". Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  24. ^ "Назначен главнокомандующий Силами воздушной обороны Вооруженных Сил Республики Казахстан".
  25. ^ "Нурлан Карбенов освобожден от должности главнокомандующего СВО". 16 March 2020.
  26. ^ "Досье: Орманбетов Нурлан Секенович".
  27. ^ "First A400M for Kazakhstan makes maiden flight". Jane's. 11 June 2024. Retrieved 16 June 2024.
  28. ^ "Arms Transfers Database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  29. ^ Ishchanov, Daniyar (5 December 2023). "Что известно о новом самолете L-410, поступившим на вооружение СВО" (in Russian). Retrieved 19 April 2024.
  30. ^ "Kazakhstan purchases two Chinese Wing-Loong UCAVs | IHS Jane's 360". 8 June 2016. Archived from the original on 8 June 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  31. ^ "TUSAŞ hangi ülkelere kaç adet hava aracı teslim etti?" (in Turkish). 24 May 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  32. ^ Brown, Steve (28 April 2024). "Why Did US Buy Old Soviet Aircraft from Kazakhstan?". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  33. ^ "Why US is buying 81 Soviet-era combat aircraft from Russia's ally". The Times of India. 29 April 2024. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  34. ^ "US buys 81 Soviet-era combat aircraft from Russia's ally costing on average less than $20,000 each, report says". Yahoo News. 29 April 2024. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  35. ^ "US buys Soviet-era combat aircraft from Russia's ally in less than $20,000 per unit". Firstpost. 29 April 2024. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  36. ^ Archived copy Archived 21 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Vad777, Brinkster.net, July 2010
  38. ^ "Orbats". scramble.nl. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
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