Military of Azerbaijan


Military of Azerbaijan

Infobox National Military
name = Azeri Armed Forces
native_name = Azərbaycan Silahlı Qüvvələri


caption = Azerbaijan coat of arms
headquarters= Baku
commander-in-chief= President Ilham Aliyev
minister=Colonel-General Safar Abiyev
minister_title = Defence Minister
commander= Colonel-General Najmaddin Sadykhov
commander_title = Chief of Staff
active=126,400
reserve=575,000
deployed=250
budget=$2 billion (2008)
amount=$2 billion (2008) (Ranked 49th)
percent_GDP = 3.2% (2007)
founded = 26 June 1918
branches=Azerbaijan Army
Azerbaijan Air Force
Azerbaijan Navy
Azerbaijan Air Defense Force
Azerbaijan Peacekeeping Forces
Azerbaijan Coast Guard
Azerbaijan Border Guard
Azerbaijan Interior Guard
Azerbaijan National Guard
age=18-35 years (Regular)
manpower_age = 18–49
available = 1,961,973
available_f = 2,033,186
fit = 1,314,955
fit_f =1,676,408
reaching = 82,358
reaching_f = 78,067
conscription =24 months
domestic_suppliers= Azerbaijan Defense Industry
foreign_suppliers=TUR
USA
UKR
BLR
PAK
ISR
RUS
exports=
imports=
history=
ranks=

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan were created according to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan of 9 October 1991. [ [http://www.president.az official web page of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan] ] The equipment and facilities of the Soviet Fourth Army provided the main material source in first period.

The Armed Forces have four branches: Land Forces, Air Force and Air Defence Force (a united branch), Navy and Peacekeeping Forces. Besides the Armed Forces there are some additional forces, which are militarily organised and can be involved in state defence when needed. Those are the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and forces of the State Border Service, which includes Coastal Guard as well. [ [http://www.mia.gov.az official web page of the Ministry of Internal Affairs] ]

The current Defence Minister is colonel-general Safar Abiyev, and Chief of Staff is colonel-general Najmaddin Sadykhov.

In July 1992, Azerbaijan ratified the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), which establishes comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment. Azerbaijan approved the CFE flank agreement in May 1997. It also has acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state. Azerbaijan participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace. The country also integrates the "Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova regional co-operation group", known as GUAM.

In 2006 under presidential decree the Azerbaijan Defense Industry was established. The Azerbaijani defense industry is endowed with between $60-70 million in state funding, but is planned to be funded at least $600 million for 2007. The defense industry has emerged as an autonomous entity with a growing defense production capability. The new ministry is cooperating with the defense sectors of Turkey, Ukraine, Pakistan and the U.S. [http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/02/2b0bdd2d-49a6-4bff-826d-05edefe4dbdb.html Azerbaijan Defense Industry] ]

Overview

In light of recent oil boom within the nation and the completion of the US-backed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Azerbaijan increased its armed forces budget to $300 million dollars in 2005, a 110% increase from the previous year. In 2006 the military budget of Azerbaijan was raised to $638 million and approximately $224 million was slated to be spent on new weapons and equipment. In May 2006 the military budget was again raised to $660 million. [ [http://today.az/news/business/26581.html Military budget reaches $660 million] ] A few months later the budget was again raised to $700 million. [ [http://www.525ci.com/2006/06/24/read.php?m=1&id=26385 Military budget reaches $700 million] ] On 17 October 2006 the defense minister announced that the military budget of Azerbaijan had reached 796.8412 million ANZ (approximately US$900 million), in November 2007 the military budget reached AZN 1,3 billion (US$1.5 billion). [ [http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=39938 Azerbaijan military budget reaches $1,5 billion in 2007] ] In April, 2008, the President of Azerbaijan announced the 52% rise in military spending, totaling the military budget to over $2 billion USD. [ [http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL1597375 Military budget reaches $2 billion] ]

Azerbaijan is modernizing and expanding its army to prepare for a worst case scenario. Many believe this rise in military expenditure followed the Azeri announcement that the army would be willing to capture its occupied territories, which are currently under the control of Armenia which fought against Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war during the early 1990s. In 2006 Azerbaijani president also ordered to increase the wages of Azerbaijan military personnel by 100%. [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060623/wl_afp/azerbaijanarmenia Military personnel wages increased by 100%] ]

Troops from Azerbaijan serve as peacekeepers in NATO-led operations in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan joined the Coalition of the Willing during Iraq War, and as of 2006, is protecting the Northern parts of Iraq. It has provided 250 troops. One hundred soldiers were sent on December 29, 2004 to reinforce the 150 soldiers already in the country. They provide security for local Turkmen populations, religious sites and convoys.

History of Azerbaijan army

The history of the modern Azerbaijan army dates back to Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, when the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan Republic were created in June 26, 1918. First de facto Minister of Defense of ADR was Dr. Khosrov bey Sultanov. When the Ministry was formally established Gen. Samedbey Mehmandarov became the minister, and then Lt-Gen. Ali-Agha Shikhlinski his deputy. Chiefs of Staff of ADR Army were Lt-Gen. Mamedbey Sulkevich (March 1919 - 10 December 1919) and Maj-Gen. Abdulhamid bey Gaitabashi (10 December 1919 – April 1920).

In summer 1992, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan, following a resolution by the Azerbaijani president on the privatization of units and formations in Azerbaijani territory, forwarded an ultimatum demanding control over vehicles and armaments of the 135th and 139th motorized rifle regiments of the 295th Motor Rifle Division. [Vladimir Petrov, [http://mdb.cast.ru/mdb/4-2002/dp/hscwa/?form=print How South Caucasus was armed] , Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (Moscow, Russia)] Azerbaijan had been the deployment area of units of the 4th Army that consisted of four motorized rifle divisions (23rd, 60th, 296th and 75th) and prescribed army units that included missile and air defense brigades and artillery and rocket regiments. It also hosted the 49th arsenal of the Main Agency of Missiles and Artillery of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, which contained over 7,000 train-car loads of ammunition to the excess of one billion units. The transfer of the property of the 4th Army (except for part of the property of the 366th motorized rifle regiment of the 23rd division captured by Armenian armed formations in 1992 during the regiment's withdrawal from Stepanakert) and the 49th arsenal was completed in 1992. Thus, by the end of 1992, Azerbaijan received arms and military hardware sufficient for approximately four motorized rifle divisions with prescribed army units. It also inherited 50 combat aircraft from the disbanded 19th Air Defense Army and naval ships.

When Azerbaijan re-established its independence in 1991, it immediately started the formation of national military forces. Lt-Gen. Valekh Barshadli became the first minister of defense (September-December 1991, from May to October 1992 he served as Chief of Staff). Other ministers of defense from 1992 until 1995 included: Maj. Gen. Tajaddin Mekhdiyev (December 1991 - January 1992), Colonel Shahin Musayev (January-February 1992), Police Colonel Tahir Aliyev (February-March 1992), Raghim Gaziyev (March 1992-February 1993), Maj. Gen. Dadash Rzayev (February-June 1993), Colonel Safar Abiyev (June-August 1993), Maj.-Gen. Vahid Musayev (August-September 1993), and Maj. Gen. Mamedrafi Mamedov (September 1993 - February 1995). Chief military advisors to the President of Azerbaijan included: Turkish Air Force Brig. Gen. Yasar Demirbulak (1992-1994), Maj. Gen. Nureddin Sadykhov (1993-1999), Col. Gen. Tofig Aghahuseynov (1997-2002) and National Security Lt. Gen. Vahid Aliyev (since April 2002).

Azerbaijan army took a series of devastating defeats by Armenian forces of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in 1992–1994 Nagorno-Karabakh war, which resulted in loss of Nagorno-Karabakh itself and about 13% of territory of Soviet Azerbaijan. Most of Azeri sources insist that solely the help of Russia and the rich Armenian diaspora made Armenian victories possible, however, Armenians deny that allegation, claiming that Russian side was helping Armenians and Azerbaijanis equally, supplying weapons and mercenaries. The Azeris had on their turn aid from Turkey (economically and militarily); there were also several Chechen and Mujahedeen warriors on Azerbaijan's side. Currently, the conflict remains frozen and peace talks are held.

Azerbaijan Army

Since 1994 Azerbaijan has started to increase its military budget, and since 2006 it has risen to $638 million compared to Armenia's $162 million. Azerbaijan further expanded its military budget to $1,5 billion in 2007. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, like its Armenian counterpart, has been trying to further develop its armed forces into a professional, well trained, and mobile military.

Azerbaijan is also expanding its active forces, which numbering about 95,000, with an additional National Guard of 575,000, as well as a "reserve of the reserve" of 1,314,955. In addition, the Azeri ground forces have 15,000 airborne troops. Azerbaijan has signed many contracts to strengthen its armed forces and to train its military with Turkey's assistance. Azerbaijan has also implemented a new organizational style in order to modernize its army. Over the last 15 years, Azerbaijan has been preparing its military for possible action against Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is feared that Azerbaijan may attempt to retake Karabakh and the surrounding regions by military force because the last negotiations in France were a failure. Azerbaijan has continually stated that it is interested in a diplomatic and peaceful solution.

Main Battle Tanks

In the past 10-12 years Azerbaijan has purchased significant quantities of weapons and military equipment, specifically tanks, artillery systems and combat aircraft. The parameters of armament purchases made by Azerbaijan have reached such a point that Azerbaijan now has almost two times more tanks and armored vehicles, two times more artillery systems and other equipment that exceed the limits set by the updated 1999 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). In 2006 Azerbaijan acquired another 106 T-72's. [http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=52414 List of military techniques Azerbaijan acquired over the past 7 years] ] According to expert evaluation, the number of tanks alone, not counting armored vehicles, is over 600 pieces. [ [http://www.panarmenian.net/library/eng/?nid=105 Azerbaijani army inventory] ] Among them there are T-55,T-72,South Korean XK-2(Black Panter),American Abrams.

Armored Combat Vehicles

In 1997, the Azerbaijani army had 361 armored combat vehicles consisting of: BMP-1, BM-21 122-mm Grad Artillery Rocket Launcher, BMP-2, BMP-3 and MT-LB armored combat vehicles.

The army has continually expanded its arsenal and by 2003 the Azerbaijani army had 513 armored combat vehicles consisting of:

* BMP-1 - 116
* BMP-2 - 96
* BMP-3 - 4
* BMD-1 - 41
* BRM-1 - 23
* BTR-60 - 25
* BTR-70 - 28
* BTR-80 - 70
* BTR-3 - 6
* MT-LB - 196
* PDM-1 - 2

Artillery systems

In 1997, the Azerbaijani army had 301 artillery systems of 100 mm caliber or more, consisting of; MT-12, M-46 and 9A52.

In 2005 the Azerbaijani army had 521 artillery systems, consisting of:

* D-30 122mm howitzer - 191
* D-20 152mm gun-howitzer - 30
* 2A36 "Giatsint-B" 152mm gun - 20
* 2S1 "Gvozdika" 122mm self-propelled howitzer - 14
* BM-21 "Grad" 122mm MLRS - 60
* MT-12 "Rapira" 100mm smoothbore anti-tank gun - 72
* M-46 130mm field gun - 36
* PM-38 120mm mortar - 85
* 9RK58 Smerch MLRS - 13

Israel’s Soltam Company is holding talks on exportation of 122mm Semser self-propelled artillery and Naiza rockets to Azerbaijan. [ [http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=86335 List of arms and military supplies bought by Azerbaijan from Israel publicized

mall Arms

*AK-74
*AKS-74U
*AK-47
*IMI Tavor TAR-21
*Grenade launchers
*MP5
*G3A3
*RPG-7
*Remington 700
*Dragunov SVD

Azerbaijan Air Force

The Azerbaijani Air Force (AzAF) is currently debating with the US Airforce to buy 100 , F16 Block C. The AzAF currently has 198 aircraft and 69 helicopters on 16 bases (with an additional 50 airports). AzAF also develops and manufacterus it's own planes and helicopters both for civilian as for military purposes. [ [http://www.topix.com/world/azerbaijan/2008/09/azerbaijan-gearing-for-manufacturing-aircraft-and-helicopter Azerbaijan to manufacture it's own aircrafts and helicopters] ] In March 2007 AzAF revealed their Fourth generation MiG-29 Fulcrum jets when they purchased 17 MIG-29s from Ukraine and Belarus, by the end of 2007 Azerbaijan purchased more MIG 29's bringing up the total number to 48. AzAF also has 24 JF-17's in their arsenal, purchased from Pakistan. [ [http://today.az/news/business/39829.html Azerbaijan to buy JF-17 multirole fighters from Pakistan] ] The MIG-29 and JF-17 have been appointed as the standard aircraft for the AzAF. [ [http://www.today.az/news/politics/38475.html Azerbaijan shows 4th generation MIG-29 multirole fighter jets.] ] AzAF also uses 35 MiG-25 Foxbat jets, 14 MiG-25 RB recon aircraft, 21 Su-24 bomber planes, 15 Su-25 Frogfoot attack planes.

In June 2008, Azerbaijan hold active negotiations with Georgian and Israel governments to acquire large number of Hermes type intelligence aircraft, so that Azerbaijan could observe the military situation in Karabakh (sspecially in the direction of Aghdam, Fizuli and Terter areas.

Helicopter force

A subdepartment of the Azerbaijani Air Force (AzAF) is the helicopter force which consists of:
* Mi-24 attack gunships - 40
* Mi-8 Assault/transport helicopter - 13
* Mi-6 Transport helicopter - 9
* Mi-2 Transport helicopter - 7

Transport fleet

Azerbaijan's air transport fleet is a subdepartment of the AzAF and consists of:
* Il-76 - 3
* An-24 - 1
* An-12 - 1
* Tu-134A - 1

Upgrade and addition

In 2006, the Air Defense Forces received a major upgrade and addition, and plans to further expansion in 2007–2009. The addition consisting of:
* Tu-16 Badger heavy bombers - 10?
* Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters - 25 (plans for additional 25 gunships status unknown)

Azerbaijan Navy

The Azerbaijan Navy has about 5,000 personnel in twenty two units including the Caspian Flotilla and a Border Coast Guard. The navy has 7 patrol boats consisting out of; 2 - OSA-II-Class and 5 - Stenka-Class patrol boats. There are 7 minesweepers consisting out of; 2 - Sonya-Class and 5 - Yevgenya-Class minesweepers. There are 6 landing crafts, 2 landing cutters, 1 special purposes warship and 1 special purposes cutter.

Azerbaijan is also strategic ally of the U.S. in view of its maritime border with Iran in the Caspian Sea. In this regard, the U.S. Navy is involved in supporting the Azeri Navy, in the area of training. There is also an agreement to provide US support to refurbish Azeri warships in the Caspian sea. In 2006, the US Government donated 3 motorboats with the latest technology to the Azerbaijani navy. In 2007 an agreement between Azeri Navy and one of the US military companies was concluded, which stated that a part of the Azeri Navy would be equipped with advanced laser marksmanship device/system. The US company specialists were also to give training for the use of new equipment. As a comment on this Colonel Lieutenant Eldar Safarov said that the work on modernization of warships will continue. [ [http://www.today.az/news/politics/40483.html Azeri Navy to be equipped with marksmanship system lasers] ]

The US has also participated in joint naval exercises with the Azeri Army’s 641st Special Warfare Naval Unit, headquartered at the Azeri Naval Station outside Baku. [ [http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20070409&articleId=5322 US trains and modernizes Azerbaijani Navy] ]

Caspian Guard Initiative

The Caspian Guard Initiative is a framework program designed to coordinate activities in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan with those of U.S. Central Command and other U.S. government agencies to enhance Caspian security. The program assists the two countries in improving their ability to prevent and, if needed, respond to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, drug and human trafficking, and other transnational treats in the Caspian region. EUCOM is responsible for operations in Azerbaijan. [ [http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Mar2006/20060309_4440.html Azerbaijan, US and Kazachstan establish Caspian Guard Initiative] ]

Azerbaijan Air Defense Force

Azerbaijani Air Defensive has about 3,500 personnel under service. There are some installations of the Cold War era left by the Soviets in 1990. The Gabala OTH Radar in Azerbaijan is the main early warning capability of the Azerbaijan Air Defense Force. The radar station has a range of up to 6,000 kilometres (3,728 mi), and was designed to detect missile launches as far as from the Indian Ocean.

The U.S. also provided Azerbaijani military with the latest radar technology in 2006. In the same year, plans were announced for the U.S. to modernize one radar station near the Iranian border at Lerik and another near the border with Georgia at Agstafa. Joint work has also commenced on two radar stations on the Russia-Azerbaijani border and Iran-Azerbaijani border to monitor Caspian Sea traffic. [ [http://today.az/news/politics/26264.html Azerbaijan & U.S. joint installations] ] [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2005/08/mil-050816-nns03.htm U.S. radars in Azerbaijan] ] In 2007 the U.S. and Russia showed great interests to make the Gabala Radar Station the main anti-missile defense shield for Europe.Azeris also have Tunguska M1 mobile vehicles and Patriot(American) anti aircraft missile system

Azerbaijan has also a wide missile system covering the Azeri Aerospace. The NATO designated SA-2 Guideline (original name S-75) has been installed in and around Baku and additional installations are near the border with Iran and Dagestan. Some are installed to defend against Armenian aircraft. Among them are the medium range SA-4, for short range SA-8 and the SA-13 mobile SAM vehicles.

The Azeris also have a lot of lighter AA guns and shoulder launched SAMs.

Azerbaijan’s National Mine Action Authority

Azerbaijan’s National Mine Action Authority (ANAMA) is the official mine-cleaning organization of Azerbaijan. In October 9, 2006 ANAMA confirmed that 36,861,337 sq. meters of area had been cleared from mines and unexploded ordinances and 70 334 UXO have been neutralized. 194 100 sq. meters of area were cleared in mechanical way. The operation took place in 2006; about 25 Dutch trained dogs (each worth $100,000), 156 sappers, 47 UXO operators, 8 paramedics, some 100 assistants and 4 mine detecting vehicles were used in the clearance operations.

ANAMA reports 81 mine explosions have left 51 persons dead and 116 wounded since September, 2001.

Azerbaijan National Guard

The Azerbaijan National Guard is the first component of the Azerbaijan Army. It's operating as a semi-independent entity of the Azerbaijan Defense Department.

The Azerbaijani National Guard is composed by troops who finished their conscription duty, they are placed in the national guard for a remaining 10 years. The national guard serves as an emergency army of Azerbaijan, it has over 575,000 personnel ready to be called for duty by a decree from the president.

Azerbaijan Border Guard

The Azerbaijan Border Guard is the second component of the Azerbaijan Army. It was established in 1997 by the decree of the president of Azerbaijan. Like the national guard of Azerbaijan the border guard is also operating as a semi-independent entity under command by the Azerbaijani Defense Department.

As the title suggest the main function of the border guard is to guard the Azerbaijani borders against any illegal acts. Preventing illegal arms, drugs and human trafficking in the country. The Azerbaijani border guard personnel are very well trained in NATO-standards and are the bureau amongst the best in the CIS.

Azerbaijan Interior Guard

The Azerbaijan Border Guard is operating as a semi-independent entity under command by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency.

The Azerbaijani interior guard is only used for internal emergencies such as natural disasters, restoring public order, etc. One of the most important tasks of the interior guard is the safety of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Arzurum pipelines. The BTC is considered to many experts as an alternative energy corridor for Europe, therefore NATO is providing Azerbaijan interior guard with technical equipment which include several helicopters and vehicles. [ [http://today.az/news/politics/40070.html NATO provides Azerbaijan Interior Guard with new technical equipment] ]

In case of foreign aggression against the state of Azerbaijan the interior guard is directly involved in restoring the territorial integrity of the country. The Azerbaijani interior guard personnel are well trained and meet NATO-standards.

Azerbaijan Coast Guard

Azerbaijan Coast Guard refers to the Coast Guard of Azerbaijan under command by the Azerbaijan State Border Service. The coast guard was established by join collaboration by Azerbaijan, U.S., Kazakhstan and the Caspian Guard Initiative. [ [http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Mar2006/20060309_4440.html Azerbaijan Coast Guard established] ]

The coast guard main duty is to protect the territorial integrity of the state water borders, protection of the public, the environment and economic & security interests in the Caspian Sea. The Azerbaijan coast guard is involved in surveillance of public waters, maritime law enforcement, mariner assistance, search and rescue, and national defense.

Azerbaijan Defense Industry

The defense industry of Azerbaijan was established in 2005 by presidential decree, the new Defense Industries Ministry, headed by Yavar Jamalov, incorporated the State Departments for Military Industry and for Armaments and the Military Science Center, each of which was formerly a separate agency within the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry. The Azerbaijani defense industry is endowed with between $60-70 million in state funding, but was funded with $600 million for 2007. The defense industry of Azerbaijan manufactures small arms, artillery systems, various military vehicles and military planes and helicopters. [ [http://www.un-az.org/undp/bulnews55/en3.php Azerbaijan manufacturing arms] ] [ [http://www.topix.com/world/azerbaijan/2008/09/azerbaijan-gearing-for-manufacturing-aircraft-and-helicopter Azerbaijan to manufacture it's own aircrafts and helicopters] ] [ [http://www.today.az/news/business/47845.html AAzerbaijan will produce competitive tanks, aircrafts and helicopters in the future] ] The defense industry has emerged as an autonomous entity with a growing defense production capability. The new ministry is cooperating with the defense sectors of Ukraine, Belarus and Pakistan.In 2008 several more military factories were created in Azerbaijan.

GUAM

Azerbaijan is an active member of GUAM, which is a regional organization of four CIS states: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. The grouping was created as a way of countering the influence of Russia in the area, and it has received backing and encouragement from the United States. Though at one point it was considered to have stagnated, recent developments have caused speculation on the possible revival of the organization.

Cooperation between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova started with the GUAM consultative forum, established on October 10, 1997, in Strasbourg and named after the initial letters of each of those countries.

In May 22–23, 2006 Ukraine and Azerbaijan announced plans to further increase the GUAM member relations by renaming the organization to "Democracy and Economic Development Organization" and establishing its headquarters in the Ukrainian capital [ [http://azernews.net/eng/gizli/view.php?d=14799 GUAM headquarters in Kiev] ]

Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev will be elected as the first secretary general of the organization. The other members said this was a remarkable development. The summit participants are also expected to adopt GUAM by-laws, a declaration and a communiqué. [ [http://azernews.net/eng/gizli/view.php?d=14939 Establishment of GUAM] ]

On May 30, 2006 Defense Minister of Ukraine and Azerbaijani Defense Minister talked over the opportunity of setting up a joint peacemaking subdivision within the framework of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM. Although its not yet been confirmed, GUAM is seriously considering it. [ [http://today.az/news/politics/26703.html GUAM peacekeeping troops] ]

On June 6 the Georgian Chairwoman of the Parliament, Nino Burjanadze, met with Eldar Mahmudov, the Minister of National Security of Azerbaijan. The officials discussed issues on the joint fight against terrorism, trafficking and drug business as well as issues regarding the security of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. [ [http://www.today.az/news/politics/26973.html GUAM joint fight against terrorism] ]

In June 2006, 10 new boundary posts were opened on the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. Opening of the posts is aimed at improving military service of border guard officers and strengthening of border defense. There are plans to construct some more boundary complexes. [ [http://today.az/news/politics/26972.html More border post to be made between Azerbaijan & Georgia] ]

Turkey

Turkey is the closest ally of Azerbaijan; the two countries cooperate on multiple issues. Turkey has supported the Azerbaijani military by providing training to Azerbaijani military personnel and delivering military equipment and armaments. Due to help from Turkish specialists and instructors, thousands of Azerbaijani officers were trained according to western standards and some have even gained field experience by taking part in special-forces operations.

Turkey has provided Azerbaijan with military support which has made them over $100 million dollars.

Azerbaijan and Turkey often exchange soldiers for cultural and military purposes.

Military training

Turkey has provided Azerbaijan with professional military training and resources at western standards. Almost all Azerbaijani officers are trained by the Turkish Armed Forces. The training is conducted in Azerbaijani territory. In 2005 Turkey stated that Azerbaijani troops are just as professional and well prepared as the Turkish and western troops and that Azerbaijan is now ready to hold exercises and train its troops on a professional level.

Anti-terrorism training

During the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline it was feared that terrorists would target the pipeline. In response, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom organized a military anti-terrorism exercise with Azerbaijan and Georgia in 2005. The exercise is planned to continue to the end of 2006. The anti-terrorism program has a budget of about $17 million in Azerbaijan, of which $7 million is being invested in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. [ [http://today.az/news/business/26649.html anti-terrorism program budget] ]

United States

The Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act bans direct assistance from the US government to the Azerbaijani government. The Azerbaijani government has put a lot of effort in continuing to improve relations between the two countries. In 2006 the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev visited the U.S. and came to the conclusion that the act may be repealed soon. [ [http://www.azernews.net/eng/gizli/view.php?d=14500 abolishment of Section 907] ]

In spite of the Freedom Support Act, the United States remains one of the closest allies of Azerbaijan. It has been reported that of all of the former Soviet states, Azerbaijan is the best friend of the United States. [ [http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20060427-090829-2494r.htm Azerbaijan becomes best ally of U.S. of former Soviet states] ] Donald Rumsfeld visited Azerbaijan 3 times in 2005.

In 2003, the U.S. government announced its plans to hold military programs in the Caucasus region. So far the U.S. has provided Azerbaijan with a military aid of $9 million. Since 1999, the United States has invested nearly $17 million in land mine removal efforts in Azerbaijan. The US has sent 13 specially trained dogs to help rid Azerbaijan of land mines. The mine-detecting dogs, each worth $100,000, were donated to Azerbaijan’s National Mine Action Authority (ANAMA) by the Marshall Legacy Institute. Additionally, a $70,000 remote-controlled Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robot, also provided by the US, is used to clean up dangerous and unstable explosive remnants of war without endangering lives. A $1.7 million remote-controlled Rhino Earth Tiller has also been provided; the RET is a well-suited for unearthing and crushing land mines that infest parts of Azerbaijan’s fertile plains, thereby enabling its croplands to be restored to productive use. [ [http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2006/Jan/19-29368.html U.S. Military programe in Azerbaijan] ]

The U.S. also provided Azerbaijani military with the latest radar technology and 3 navy boats in 2006. In the same year, plans were announced for the U.S. to modernize one radar station near the Iranian border at Lerik and another near the border with Georgia at Agstafa. Joint work has also commenced on two radar stations on the Russia-Azerbaijani border and Iran-Azerbaijani border to monitor Caspian Sea traffic. [ [http://today.az/news/politics/26264.html Advanced radars in Azerbaijan] ] [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2005/08/mil-050816-nns03.htm Azerbaijan & U.S. cooperate on radars] ]

On May 19, 2006 Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev and Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe Tom Hobbins met in Baku to discuss military cooperation. General Hobbins said that the main reason for the lack of peace and stability in South Caucasus was the Armenia-Azerbaijan Upper (Nagorno) Garabagh conflict. He stated that "Armenia’s destructive policies and its non-constructive stance in the negotiations have been the main reason for the ongoing instability. Armenia keeps 20% of Azerbaijani land under occupation". [ [http://azernews.net/eng/gizli/view.php?d=14940 NATO & Azerbaijan relations] ]

Hobbins pointed to the progress made in the NATO-Azerbaijan relations, saying that the successful implementation of the NATO Partnership for Peace program in Azerbaijan has brought the country even closer to the alliance. He said the objective of his visit was to become familiar with the state of Azerbaijani armed forces. He expressed that the two countries' air forces will expand cooperation. [ [http://today.az/news/politics/26307.html U.S. & Azerbaijani Air Force cooperation] ]

Anti-terrorism

Azerbaijan is a country which has experienced brutal terrorism, [ [http://www.mfa.gov.az/eng/foreign_policy/inter_affairs/fightagainstterrorism.shtml Acts of terrorism against Azerbaijan] ] it's estimated that about 2,500 people have died because of foreign and domestic terrorism [ [http://www.mns.gov.az/armenianterror_en.html Terrorism statistics] ] in Azerbaijan. The world's worst metro terrorist attack was conducted in Baku Metro in 1995, when 289 people died and over 300 were wounded. [ [http://english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/365/11994_terrorism.html Baku Metro terror act] ]

Azerbaijan was one of the first nations to offer any help it could provide to the United States after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, and joining the U.S.-led coalition. The Azerbaijan grants blanket overflight clearance, engaging in information sharing and law-enforcement cooperation, and approving numerous landings and refueling operations at its civilian airport in support of OEF. Azerbaijan has supported peacekeeping operations in Iraq since August 2003 with an infantry company of approximately 150 soldiers stationed at the Haditha dam. [ [http://www.today.az/news/politics/40276.html Azerbaijan counterterrorism report] ] Azerbaijan has also sent contingents of troops to the coalitions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Kosovo before that. The defense official called Azerbaijan's forces "highly competent" in their performance while serving with Turkish forces in Afghanistan and American forces in Iraq. The United States provides about $3 million per year to Azerbaijan for its anti-terrorism program. [ [http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2003/n12032003_200312035.html Azerbaijan anti-terrorism program] ]

In beginning of 2006, the MNS, which is an Azerbaijani Security and Intelligence Agency, managed to arrest dozens of al-Qaeda members who were using Azerbaijan as a transit country. One of the arrested members included Abu-Ayat, who is an alleged explosives specialist and claimed to be close to Osama bin Laden. Some of their plans included attacking the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku. All of the al-Qaeda members were handed over to the U.S.. [ [http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/article/0,13005,901031013-493255,00.html Successes of Azerbaijani Intelligence] ]

Military Joint Programmes

Azerbaijan has many military joint programs with other countries and organizations such as: NATO and GUAM. Some independent countries also hold military exercises with Azerbaijan; Turkey, United States, Ukraine, Romania hold regularly military exercises with Azerbaijani troops.

In June 1, 2006 Azerbaijan and Tajikistan signed an agreement on military cooperation in Baku. Both countries agreed on collaboration in holding joint military exercises and training of personnel. [ [http://azernews.net/eng/gizli/view.php?d=14977 Joint collaboration between Azerbaijan & Tajikistan] ] Under the document, Azerbaijan's military colleges will train specialists for Tajikistan's Armed Forces [ [http://today.az/news/politics/26800.html Azerbaijan to train specialists for Tajikistan] ] According to the some military sources,Azerbaijan Respublik aimly conceal really number of it army forces and military equipment.Because of negative reaction from European Union. As this experts decleare,in fact (by 2008) Azerbaijan Armed Forces had:1)560 tanks,2)670 armored combat vehicles,3)450 artillery systems,4)253 military aircrafts,5)100 helicopters,6)50 ships and military boats.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Azerbaijan is a member of the Council of Europe and also participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace program and Individual Partnership Action Plan, projects created in 1994 to build trust between NATO and European states and the former Soviet Union.

Azerbaijan has received assistance from the two dominant participants of NATO; U.S. and Turkey.

In June 5, 2006 the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation held a training program for about 100 representatives of Azerbaijan Ministry for Emergencies, Republican Prosecutor's Office, Defense Ministry and other law-enforcement bodies. The objective of the training was to enhance Azerbaijan's ability to prevent the spread of weapon of mass destruction and related materials. According to a U.S. Embassy official, the program was organized as part of U.S. efforts to help Azerbaijan implement its NATO IPAP, specifically to strengthen Azerbaijan's ability to control its land and sea borders: "This training is being implemented within the frame of International struggle against spread of weapons of mass destruction. It is a good case that Azerbaijan is our active partner in struggle against spread of weapons of mass destruction". [ [http://today.az/news/society/27013.html Partnership for Peace training] ] By the end of 2007 Azerbaijan will confirm and accept "military doctrine" with measures taken in this field in accordance with the individual partnership plan with the NATO. [ [http://today.az/news/politics/27639.html Military doctrine to be adopted] ]

International participation

Azerbaijan is an active participant in international affairs and has provided assistance and troops to the following countries and conflicts:

*Kosovo
*Afghanistan
*Iraq

Kosovo

In 1999 Azerbaijan deployed 34 peacekeepers in Kosovo, they still conduct their service within KFOR. NATO officials and KFOR commanders highly praised the performance of Azerbaijani military unit. [ [http://www.azembassy.com/archive/2002/newsletter/15nov02.htm Azerbaijani troops in Kosovo] ]

Senior German and Turkish officers have praised the Azerbaijani troops, who work under very difficult climatic circumstances in a fragile and politically charged environment. The Azerbaijani troops, well-trained and dedicated, are carrying out their function in a manner that gains them respect from everyone. They have brought with them their culture and customs even cuisine, which makes them relate well with the people. [ [http://www.azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/84_folder/84_articles/84_letter_lembo.html Mission of Azeri peacekeeping soldiers in Kosovo] ] After the unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence, Azerbaijani Parliament passed decision on March 4 on the basis of presidential appeal, on the withdrawal of Azerbaijani peacekeepers from Kosovo. In April 15, 2008, all 34 Azeri troops serving in Kosovo, have returned home to Azerbaijan. [ [http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=47098 Azeri troops return home from Kosovo] ]

Afghanistan

Azerbaijan has 100 troops deployed in Afghanistan for assistance. In 2006, Azerbaijan and Croatia joined the Lithuanian-led NATO provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in western Afghanistan. Azerbaijan has contributed by sending 8 military doctors to the team. In the same year Azerbaijan raised the deployment number to 30 troops. In May 2007 the Azerbaijani president announced plans to double this number to between 40 and 44.soldiers. [ [http://www.mfa.gov.az/eng/foreign_policy/inter_affairs/fightagainstterrorism.shtml Azerbaijan plans to double numbers of troops in Afghanistan] ] In 2008 the number of Azerbaijani soldiers was again doubled, reaching 100 Azerbaijani troops in Afghanistan. [ [http://www.azernews.az/site/shownews.php?news_id=4499 Azerbaijan deploys 100 troops in Afghanistan] ]

Iraq

Azerbaijan is part of the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq, together with U.S. Marines, its troops protect the al-Haditha Dam in Western Iraq. Since 2003, Azerbaijan has provided a company of about 150 troops. Azerbaijani troops provide perimeter security, escort duties and other security functions. They are commanded by Major Ramiz Eyubov. On June 28, 2008, Azerbaijani peacekeepers suffered their first major casualty as private Rafael Agayev was killed in the city Haditha. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/28/europe/EU-GEN-Azerbaijan-Iraq.php Azerbaijani soldier killed in Iraq - International Herald Tribune ] ] .

Military pictures



ee also

* Azerbaijan
* Azerbaijan Army
* Azerbaijan Air Force
* Azerbaijan Navy
* Azerbaijan Air Defense Force
* Azerbaijan National Guard
* Azerbaijan Border Guard
* Azerbaijan Interior Guard
* Azerbaijan Coast Guard
* Caspian Guard Initiative
* Azerbaijan Defense Industry
* Qabala Radar
* Military of Turkey
* Baku

References

* [http://www.vetennamine.com Free Political Journal]
* [http://today.az/news/society/27684.html Border Guard, Interior Guard and Army to hold annual training joints.]
* [http://today.az/news/politics/31544.html Azerbaijani military budget to reach $900 million]
* [http://www.thereminder.com/special/lettersfromiraq/letters/032805/ US Marines and Azerbaijani soldiers working together]
* [http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=1160157&C=mideast USA and Azerbaijan]
* [http://today.az/news/business/26949.html 2005 heavy armaments sold to Azerbaijan]
* [http://today.az/news/politics/26703.html GUAM wants peacemaking troops]
* [http://today.az/news/business/26581.html Azerbaijan raising military budget]
* [http://prima-news.ru/eng/news/news/2003/1/10/22409.html Azerbaijani prisoners of war]
* [http://www.globaldefence.net/projekt_streitkraefte_der_welt/eurasien/aserbaidschan__azerbaijan__225_26.html GlobalDefence.net statistics]
* [http://www.today.az/news/society/31170.html ANAMA 2006 report]
* [http://disarmament2.un.org/UN_REGISTER.nsf UN Registed Weapons]
* [http://www.today.az/news/politics/31306.html Romania and Azerbaijan Joints]
* [http://azernews.net/eng/gizli/view.php?d=1 US exercise]
* [http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-997.html Azerbaijan country data]
* [http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=940090&C=asiapac Defense News]
* [http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/0/5dfcb31ebb43f2e985256ffb0033985c?OpenDocument Azerbaijani troops in Iraq]
* [http://inbrief.threatswatch.org/2005/12/afternoon-with-the-azerbaijani Azeri troops in Iraq]
* [http://www.peterson.af.mil/hqafspc/News/News_Asp/nws_tmp.asp?storyid=04-115 Navy Seal in Baku]
* [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/3821168.html Azerbaijani president making a statement not to allow military options against Iran]
* [http://azernews.net/eng/gizli/view.php?d=14799 Boasting relations in GUAM]
* [http://today.az/news/politics/26290.html U.S. project in Azerbaijan]
* [http://today.az/news/politics/26721.html GUAM Peacemaking troops]
* [http://today.az/news/politics/27141.html counter terrorism program]
* [http://today.az/news/business/27401.html Azerbaijan buys dozens of tanks]
* [http://www.milkavkaz.net Armed Forces of Caucasian countries]

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* 2005
* 2003


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