As it is known, Armenian state authorities are reluctant to pulish figures related to the personnel and the technical resources of the RA Armed Forces. For that reason, “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO has decided to publish some not classified information related to the number of the armed forces of Armenia, Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and Azerbaijan, which the RA Ministry of Defense refuses to publish.
Armenia has been member of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe since 1990s. The treaty regulates issues related to arms control. Within the framework of the treaty, foreign military inspectorates have visited Armenia numerous times, and Armenian specialists have carried out inspections in a number of other countries (Turkey, Greece, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, and etc.).
Under the treaty, states are obliged to submit reports related to the number and distribution of conventional arms (both personnel and technical resources).
Based on the proposal by the Armenian Ministry of Defense, we have examined the 2017 report prepared based on the CFE member countries’ reports, which we have used to compile the information below (all data as of the beginning of 2017).
We will also try to highlight the data that have changed compared to 2016. The changed data are in italics.
Armenia and Artsakh
Number: According to the report, the overall number of Armenian servicemen is 44.800, 41.850 out of which are ground forces (the rest serve in the air force and air defense). The total number of recruits in the ground forces is 18.950.
In the report on Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the numbers are not completely unambiguous since NKR is not a member of CFE and, hence, is not accountable to it. Nevertheless, according to the report, the number of the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh is between 18 and 20 thousand.
However, the report assumes and we do not rule out that part of the armed forces personnel and equipment may be included in the numbers presented for the Armenian armed forces. This is also confirmed by the circumstance that during the 2017 parliamentary elections, there were only around 21.000 people in part of the lists of voters doing the compulsory military service and the contractual servicemen. Meanwhile, that list should have included around 19 thousand voters doing compulsory military service and about 5 thousand contractual servicemen.
Hence, we can conclude that part of the 42 thousand servicemen mentioned in the report were in Nagorno Karabakh or served there (Armed Forces of NKR).
Thus, the total number of Armenia’s and Nagorno Karabakh’s ground forces probably amounts to 50-55 thousand servicemen.
Another 4300 servicemen serve in the RA Police and in the border troops.
Structure: The Armed Forces of Armenia are composed of:
- 5 army corps (one intelligence, tank, artillery battalions, 2-4 motorized infantry regiments in each of them, sometimes also signal, self-propelled artillery, logistics battalions, and other forces). Only the 5th Army Corps including Yerevan and Gyumri is different in that it has a more modest composition of troops.
- 5 separate brigades (special, artillery, motorized infantry, and air defense).
- 6 separate regiments (2 air defense and radio-tech each, 1 anti-tank and engineer each). Compared to last year, one radio-tech regiment has been added.
- Air force.
Armaments: According to the report, the Armed Forces of Armenia have:
- 101 T-72 tanks (additional 8 older tanks), and about 200-300 similar tanks are possessed by the Armed Forces of Nagorno Karabakh (verification of data on Artsakh is very difficult). Armenia also possesses 1 T-90.
- 86 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), 12 reconnaissance combat vehicles, and 130 armored personnel carriers. 75 of IFVs are BMP-1. Majority of armored personnel carriers are BTR 60 and BTR 70. And there are about 250-350 IFVs and armored personnel carriers in the armaments of Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
- 232 artillery units with a diameter of more than 120 mm, including 38 self-propelled, 131 towed units, 51 multiple launch rocket systems and 12 large-caliber mortars.
It is noteworthy that the report does not include the two “Smerch” multiple rocket launchers shown during the military parade in Yerevan in September 2016.
There are additional 250-300 artillery systems in possessed by the Armed Forces of Nagorno Karabakh Republic. Among them, 40-50 are BM-21 “Grad” multiple rocket launchers.
- The anti-tank units mainly possess “Fagot”, “Shturm”, and “Konkurs” systems. The anti-tank units also have Т-12 antitank guns.
- Air defense armaments of Armenia’s and Artsakh’s Armed Forces include S-75, S-125, “Krug”, “Osa” and “Kub” There are also “Igla” and “Igla-1” portable air defense systems in the possession of Armenia and NKR. Armenia also has two divisions of S-300PS missile systems.
It is worth noting that though not mentioned in the report, the 2016 military parade makes it clear that Armenia’s air defense also possesses “Buk” missile systems.
- The military aviation is composed of 15 Su-25 “Frogfoot” jet aircrafts, 14 training airplanes, and 2 IL-76 During the recent year, the air force has obtained only one non-combat A-319 Airbus.
- Armenia also possesses “Krunk” unmanned aerial vehicles of local production, which, however, were not included in this year’s report.
- The Air Force also possesses 11 Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters, as well as 2 Mi-9 helicopters (mainly for commanders).
- From tactical ballistic missiles, Armenia possesses 8 “Elbrus” and 4 “Tochka” missiles.
During the recent year, 4 “Iskander” type missile systems were added.
Number: According to the report, the total number of servicemen in the armed forces of Azerbaijan is 66.950, 56.850 out of which are ground forces, 7.900 are the air force and air defense forces and 2.200 serve in the navy.
There are 5.000 servicemen in the border troops (including coastal troops) of Azerbaijan. Furthermore, the police forces have about 10.000 personnel.
Structure: The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan (ground forces) are composed of 5 army corps commands, which include 23 motorized infantry brigades. Besides, there are 2 artillery, 1 rocket-artillery, 1 anti-tank, 1 engineer, 1 security, 1 signal and 1 logistics brigades.
The air force and the navy of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan are separated. The navy has one reconnaissance brigade of marine troops.
Armaments: According to the report, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan have:
- 439 tanks, 95 out of which are T-55, 244 are T-72 and 100 are T-90s. These tanks were designed in 50s to 90s respectively.
- 191 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), 15 reconnaissance combat vehicles, and 568 armored personnel carriers. The production of 88 of the IFVs dates back to the late 1980s, and these are BMP-3. 90 of the armored personnel carriers are of Azerbaijani production.
- 554 artillery units with a diameter of more than 120 mm, including 123 self-propelled, 207 towed units, and 112 multiple launch rocket systems. At the beginning of last year, Azerbaijan had 6 “Solntsepyok” heavy flamethrower systems. This year their number has grown to 18.
- The anti-tank units mainly possess “Fagot”, “Metis”, “Konkurs”, “Skif”, “Malyutka”, “Spike-LR” and self-propelled “Khrizantema” systems.
- The Air Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan is composed of “Krug”, “S-125”, “Osa”, “Strela-10”, “S-200”, “Buk-1M”, and “Kub” systems, as well as 2 divisions of S-300PM2 “Favorit”
The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan also possess “Igla-1” and “Igla-C” portable air defense systems.
- The Azerbaijani air force possesses 21 attack aircrafts (most of them are SU-25 “Frogfoot”), 14 MIG-29 “Fulcrum” fighter jets, 12 training and 4 military transport planes.
- The report contains contradictory information about Azerbaijan’s unmanned aerial vehicles. But according to other sources, their number fluctuates between 50 and 120, part of which is produced in Azerbaijan.
- The air force is also equipped with 26 “Mi-24”, 13 “Mi-8”, 2 “Mi-2” and 20 Mi-17
- From tactical missiles, Azerbaijan possesses 4 “Tochka” missiles from 1960s.
- Azerbaijan’s naval forces are mainly equipped with 4 combat, 8 patrol, 6 amphibian and other (with smaller capacity and logistics-type) ships.
It is worth noting once again that all the data are as of beginning of 2017 and are considered open (not classified) information.
Union of Informed Citizens