Bayraktar TB2 S-IHA of the Turkish Army in Teknofest2021at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Turkey.
“The Bayraktars entered service with the Border Guards in mid-December last year…”
Kyrgyzstan rarely acquires new weapons and equipment, so when the Kyrgyz government recently announced it had received a set of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), it marked an upgrade in the capabilities of Kyrgyz forces. The accompanying excerpted articles report on a recent field exercise with the new drones as well as additional new equipment.
The article from the independent news website Kloop reports on an exercise involving Kyrgyzstan’s new Bayraktars. The article notes that the scenario of the exercise involved eliminating a group of criminals with fire support from the UAVs. Kyrgyz units in the Ministry of Defense, not the Border Guards, typically carry out this type of exercise. The article mentions that it is unknown how many Bayraktars Kyrgyzstan purchased, but the UAVs and new vehicles are a notable upgrade specifically for the Border Guards. There have been a number of clashes on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border over the past 10 years, including clashes in April-May 2021 that resulted in a few dozen people killed (border guards and civilians) and clashes on 12 April 2022.
The excerpted article from the Kyrgyz semi-independent newspaper Vecherniy Bishkek reports on the delivery of “50 new KAMAZ vehicles and 55 Tigr armored personnel carriers to the Border Guards Service of the National Security Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic” and notes that it is “the largest acquisition of equipment for Kyrgyzstan since its independence.” The article also mentions that the Kyrgyz government purchased the new military equipment with state funds, which one political scientist believed was possible partly because of the government’s takeover of the Kumtor gold mine last year. In May 2021, the Kyrgyz government took steps to take ownership of Kumtor a Canadian company that had operated and held majority ownership of the mine. As of April 2022, Kyrgyz authorities now have ownership and control operation of the mine, which makes up a significant percentage of the country’s GDP.
Munduzbek Kalykov, “Одним видео: «Байрактар», бронетехника и президент в полевой кухне (One video: “Bayraktar”, armored personnel carriers and the president in a field kitchen),” Kloop (independent Russian-language news website in Kyrgyzstan), 31 March 2022. https://kloop.kg/blog/2022/03/31/odnim-video-bajraktar-bronetehnika-i-prezident-v-polevoj-kuhne/
The special tactical exercise “Kalkan-2022” has started at the “Edelweiss” training center in the city of Balykchy…
According to the exercise scenario, an “international criminal group” infiltrated Kyrgyzstan from a neighboring state, having already seized weapons, mortars, a tank and other equipment.
During the exercise, special units of the Border Guards blocked off and eliminated the mock enemy. Their captured armored vehicles were destroyed with the use of the Bayraktar…
The Bayraktars entered service with the Border Guards in mid-December last year. They were bought within the budget, but it is unknown how much was spent on them. Also, the number of drones was not specified.
Source: Bakyt Basarbek, “Благодаря правильной экономической политике мы закупили военную технику (We purchased military equipment thanks to the right economic policies),” Vecherniy Bishkek (semi-independent, Russian-language newspaper in Kyrgyzstan), 25 March 2022. https://www.vb.kg/doc/416032_blagodaria_pravilnoy_ekonomicheskoy_politike_my_zakypili_voennyu_tehniky.html
Today, on 25 March, in Bishkek, a ceremony was held to present 55 modern fire engines to the Ministry of Emergency Situations and 50 new KAMAZ vehicles and 55 Tigr armored personnel carriers to the Border Guards Service of the National Security Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic…this is the largest acquisition of equipment for Kyrgyzstan since its independence.
…the KAMAZ trucks and the armored personnel carriers were purchased with funds from the state budget…
“Now we can buy equipment ourselves. The privatization of Kumtor and general economic policy played a role in this,” said political scientist Mars Sariev…he recalled that Kyrgyzstan previously purchased the strike-capable unmanned aerial vehicle Bayraktar from Turkey…
Image: Bayraktar TB2 S-IHA of the Turkish Army in Teknofest2021at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Turkey
Source: CeeGee via Wikimedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bayraktar_TB2_S-IHA_TurkishArmy_Teknofest2021_(3).jpg
Attribution: CC by 4.0