Military Wiki
Military of Uzbekistan
Standard of the Armed Forces
Standard of the Armed Forces
Service branches Ground Forces
Air and Air Defence Forces
Frontier Service
National Guard
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov
Conscription 18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months
Available for
military service
6,340,220 males, age 18-49 (2005 est.),
6,432,072 females, age 18-49 (2005 est.)
Fit for
military service
4,609,621 males, age 18-49 (2005 est.),
5,383,233 females, age 18-49 (2005 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
324,722 males (2005 est.),
317,062 females (2005 est.)
Active personnel 65,000[1]
Percent of GDP 2% (2005 est.) Another reported figure is 3.7%

The military of Uzbekistan is the state organisation charged with the defence of Uzbekistan, consisting of a ground force, air defense forces, national guard [2] and a frontier service.[3] They are reported to be the largest in Central Asia.[4] According to the 1992 Law on Defence, Uzbekistan's military is for defensive purposes only.[5]

Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, used to be the headquarters of the Soviet Turkestan Military District and on 20 February 1992, the new Ministry of Defence Affairs took over the offices which had been formerly occupied by the district headquarters staff.[6] On 2 July 1992 a Presidential Decree established a Ministry of Defence to supersede the Ministry of Defence Affairs. Over the succeeding years, Uzbekistan replaced Russian officers with ethnic Uzbeks and restructured the military to focus on targets like civil unrest, drug trafficking, and Hizb-ut-Tahrir.[citation needed]

Uzbekistan and Russia signed a mutual defence pact in 2005, that will also result in closer military cooperation. This marked a stark contrast to a few years earlier, when the US appeared to be Uzbekistan's favoured foreign friend, and relations with Russia were cooler.[7]

'The country [has] also began professionalizing its military, an effort that has only limited success and erratic government support. But even in Uzbekistan, these changes represent merely a modest beginning and most of the benefits are concentrated in a few elite, higher readiness formations rather than uniformly applied to the entire force. The Uzbek military is woefully inadequate, but it is far superior to its neighbours.'[8]

The government maintains a command and staff college for the military in Tashkent, based on the former Soviet TVOKU higher command college.

Activities and foreign relations

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States leased the Karshi-Khanabad airbase in southern Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan. The American base there was called "Camp Stronghold Freedom," yet was more often referred to as "K2 Airbase" by the personnel in theater.

In May 2005, the military was involved in suppressing unrest in the Ferghana Valley city of Andijan, which became known as the Andijan massacre. Consequently, the EU banned arms sales and imposed a one-year visa ban on 12 senior officials, including the security chief and interior and defence ministers, accusing them of bearing responsibility for the killings.[9]

In the aftermath of the incident, President Karimov dismissed several senior military figures: Defense Minister Kadyr Gulyamov, Head of the Joint Headquarters of the Armed Forces Ismail Ergashev, and Commander of the Eastern military district Kosimali Akhmedov. Burnashev and Chernykh said that '..although these dismissals did not change the formal system of administration in the security and military structures, they reflected serious shifts in power relations among regional elites representing their clans.'[10]

A joint statement of the member countries of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation issued in early July, 2005 on a conference in Astana (Kazakstan) called for a withdrawal of US troops from military bases in Central Asia. On July 29, 2005, Uzbekistan invoked a provision asking the U.S. to leave within 180 days. On November 21, 2005, the withdrawal of US troops from Karshi-Khanabad and any other bases was completed.[11]

The European Union lifted the arms sales ban in 2009.

Arms control and non-proliferation

The government has accepted the arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union, and acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear state. It has also supported an active program by the U.S. Department of Defense Defense Threat Reduction Agency in western Uzbekistan (Nukus and the biological warfare test laboratory on Vozrozhdeniye Island).

Land Forces


The army includes five military districts, the Northwest at Nukus, the Southwest Special Military District at Karshi, the Central Military District at Dzhizak, and the Eastern Military District at Ferghana. In 2001, the Tashkent garrison was transformed into the Tashkent Military District.[12]

The headquarters of the military districts and their areas of responsibility are confirmed. The subordinate brigades listed in the table below have been attributed to the various military districts either because they are located in the same city as the military district headquarters or are clearly within the military districts' area of responsibility - that is, the 37th Motor Rifle Brigade at Andijan.

Formation Headquarters Location Notes
Northwest Military District HQ Nukus Karakalpakstan, Xorazm Province
? Motor Rifle Brigade Nukus
Southwest Special Military District HQ Karshi Qashqadaryo Province, Surxondaryo Province, Bukhara Province, Navoiy Province
25th Motor Rifle Brigade Karshi (пос.Нуристан) SW MD, Military Unit No.08579
Central Military District HQ Dzhizak Dzhizak Province, Samarqand Province, Sirdaryo Province
? Artillery Brigade Каттакурган, Самарканд Быв. 353 абр
Eastern Military District(EMD) Ferghana Fergana Province, Andijan Province, Namangan Province
17th Air Assault Brigade Ferghana EMD, до 5 тыс.чел- 4 вдбр
37th Motor Rifle Brigade Andijan EMD, упоминаеться как 34th MR Bde[13]
? Artillery Brigade/Regiment Ferghana EMD, Из 105th Guards Air Assault Division, Soviet Airborne Troops
Tashkent Military District HQ Tashkent Tashkent Province, Established 2001
? Artillery Brigade/Regiment Tashkent Возможно уч.ап в Чирчике

There are four motor rifle brigades whose designations are not known,[14] and the 17th Air Assault Brigade at Fergana, the former Soviet Airborne Forces' 387th Airborne Training Regiment. Motorized brigades are located around Bukhara, Samarqand, Termez, Nukus, and Andijan.[15]

Other Listed Formations

  • 2 АК МС, Fergana, в/ч 49827, вкл. 15 дшбр, чирчикский учебный полк и ферганская парашютно-десантная бригада-1999[14]
  • Motor Rifle Brigade, Chirchik, в/ч 16707
  • Motor Rifle Brigade, Samarqand, former motor rifle division? (быв. мсд (запасная, кадрированная))
  • Motor Rifle Brigade, Termez, На базе 108 мсд
  • Tank Regiment (тп), Tashkent, Был в Навои, переведен в Ахангаран
  • исбр
  • б-н (отряд) спецназа, Ташкент, Быв. 459 рота спецназа
  • бригада НГ, Ташкент, 1 тыс.чел-в бригаде один батальон охраны, рота почетного караула и рота спецназа.


Uzbek troops participated in Partnership for Peace Exercise Cooperative Osprey '96 at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, hosted by the United States Marine Corps.

In September 2004, the (then) Royal Welsh Regiment (now 3rd Bn The Royal Welsh) of the British Army participated with the Uzbek Army Peacekeeping Battalion in "Exercise Timurlane Express" in the Farish Mountain Training Area.[citation needed] This was a 3-week NATO sponsored Partnership for Peace training exercise.

Current equipment

Reportedly, Uzbek armed forces' small arms include the AK-47, AK-74, Dragunov sniper rifle, Makarov PM pistol, and PK.

Heavier equipment includes:

Tanks[citation needed]

Infantry Fighting Vehicles[citation needed]

Armoured Personnel Carriers[citation needed]

Towed Artillery

Self-propelled Artillery

Rocket Artillery

Air Forces

Uzbek Air and Air Defence Force shoulder badge

The Uzbek air forces consist of units formerly part of the 49th Air Army of the Turkestan Military District headquartered at Tashkent. There are two remaining combat units, brigades at Karshi-Khanabad and Dzhizak.[14]

The 60th Separate Brigade is the former 735th Bomber Aviation Regiment combined with the former 87th Separate Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment.[16] It has 31 Su-24s, 32 MiG-29s, and 6 Su-27s. Other recently disbanded units include the 61st Fighter Aviation Regiment at Kakaydy, which was itself a merger with the previous 115th Fighter Aviation Regiment, and the 62nd Fighter Aviation Regiment at Andijan. Regiments at both bases were disbanded in 1999. As many as 26 stored Su-17s, apparently in very bad condition, remain at Chirchiq (see Google Earth 41°30'05.69"N 69°33'44.90"E).

List of units

  • 60th Separate Mixed Aviation Brigade (Karshi-Khanabad)(60 BAP), Su-24/Su-24MR, Su-27- (31 Su-24, 32 MiG-29, 6 Su-27, 1200 personnel.)
  • Separate Mixed Aviation Brigade, Dzhizak, Su-25 - (Su-25, L-39, Mi-8, Mi-24)
  • Separate Mixed Aviation Regiment, Fergana, Аn-12, 12РР, 26, 26РР
  • Separate Mixed Aviation Squadron, Tashkent, Аn-24, Тu-134
  • 65th Separate Helicopter Regiment Kagan, Bukhara Mi-6,8. According to the IISS Military Balance 2002- 28 Mi-6, 29 Mi-8. Former 396th Separate Helicopter Regiment, Southern Group of Forces
  • 66th Separate Helicopter Regiment, Chirchiq, Mi-8/24/26 helicopters. The IISS Military Balance 2002 listed Uzbekistan with 42 Mi-24, 29 Mi-8,1 Mi-26
  • 12th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade
  • Radio-Technical Brigade

Uzbekistani Air Force maintenance personnel tow an Air Force Su-24 Fencer aircraft at Karshi-Khanabad Air Base.

Uzbekistan governmental plane Boeing 767-300.

Current air force equipment

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service Notes
Sukhoi Su-27  Soviet Union Multi role fighter 25
Sukhoi Su-24  Soviet Union Long range bomber 32 Stored
Mikoyan MiG-29  Soviet Union Multi role fighter 60[17]
Sukhoi Su-17  Soviet Union Ground attack 38 Stored
Sukhoi Su-25  Soviet Union Ground attack 25 Active
Aero L-39 Albatros  Czech Light attack/ trainer 14
Ilyushin Il-76  Soviet Union Heavy transport 6
An-12  Soviet Union Medium transport 5
An-24  Soviet Union Medium transport 1
An-26  Soviet Union Medium transport 15
Boeing 767-300 United States VIP Transport 1 UK-67000, governmental plane
Boeing 757-200 United States VIP Transport 1 UK-75700, governmental plane
Mi-24 Hind  Soviet Union Heavy attack helicopter 51
Mi-8 Hip/Mi-17 Hip  Soviet Union Medium transport helicopter 64
Mil Mi-6  Soviet Union Heavy transport helicopter 27
Mil Mi-26  Soviet Union medium transport helicopter 1

Border Guard

The Frontier Service, also called the Committee for State Border Protection of the National Security Service, is the border guard of Uzbekistan. They have gotten into disagreements with the Frontier Forces of Kyrgyzstan in the Batken province.[18]

Special Forces

The military, SNB, and MVD maintain several spetsnaz battalions, named Scorpions, Bars, and Alfa. They are commonly used against Islamic terrorists in the border regions near Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.[19]


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. Today.Az » Politics » Uzbekistan would prefer to be policeman of Central Asia: expert
  5. Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.Chapter 26.Defence and Security. Article 125
  6. Richard Woff, 'Independence and the Uzbek Armed Forces,' Jane's Intelligence Review, December 1993, p.567
  7. BBC
  8. McDermott, JSMS, 2002, p.30
  9. BBC
  10. Rustam Burnashev and Irina Chernykh, Changes in Uzbekistan's Military Policy After the Andijan Events, China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Volume 5, No. 1 (2007) , Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, ISSN: 1653-4212, p. 72
  11. US Completes Withdrawal From Uzbek Base
  12. Bakhtiyar Kamilov, Formation of Conceptual Approaches to the Problems of Ensuring National Security in Central Asian States - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan
  13. Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan: Islam Karimov: no one can turn us from our chosen path
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2, accessed late September 2007 and June 2010
  16. For 735th Bomber Aviation Regiment, see Michael Holm, [4], and for 87th Separate Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment, see [5]
  17. "World Military Aircraft Inventory". 2011 Aerospace: Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 2011.
  18. [6]
  19. [7]

Further reading

  • Roger N. McDermott, The armed forces of the republic of Uzbekistan 1992-2002: Threats, influences and reform, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Volume 16, Issue 2 June 2003, pages 27 – 50

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