Defense and armament are the most important factor in the security of any state. Even if you adhere to a peace-loving policy, you should always be ready to protect your borders from external threats.

Let’s consider the state and development of the Armed Forces and the defense-industrial complex on the example of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the nearest neighbor of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Armed forces

Number of soldiers: 48 thousand soldiers of the armed forces and 20 thousand soldiers of internal troops.

The army budget: 1 billion 703 million US dollars.

The Armed Forces of Uzbekistan include land forces, air forces, air defense forces, Special Forces, the National Guard and the military-river forces.

Armament: 343 tanks, 399 infantry fighting vehicles, 19 armored reconnaissance vehicles, 607 armored personnel carriers, 39 anti-tank weapons, 108 rocket launchers, 6 tactical missile systems, 373 artillery systems, 101 combat aircraft, 45 transport aircraft, 128 helicopters, over 45 antiaircraft missile complexes.

World ranking: 48th place according to the data on the international website "Index of military power".

For reference: the defense costs of Uzbekistan in recent years amounted to 3.2-4.5% of GDP (in 2009 - $ 1.238 billion, in 2010 - $ 1.422 billion, in 2011 - $ 1.43 billion; In 2012 - $ 2.173 billion, in 2013 - over $ 2.2 billion, in 2014 - $ 2.33 billion, in 2015 - up to $ 2.4 billion, in 2016 - up to $ 2, 56 billion. Forecast for 2017-2019 - up to $ 2.7 billion).

International military cooperation

In recent years, Tashkent has established cooperation with a number of foreign partners in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as in the Middle East.

The purchase of weapons and military equipment, as well as their decommissioning and disposal for all power structures in Uzbekistan is handled by the state enterprise Uzmaxsusimpex (UMSI) by analogy with the RSE Kazspetsexport of the MDAI of the RK, in 2016 the UMSI supplied military products worth about $ 750 million.

Currently, Uzbekistan is actively studying the products of the defense-industrial complex of South Korea. In particular, the possibility of buying from the Korean side 12 units of training aircraft «Golden Eagle» of the type of T-50 for the amount of about $ 400 million (to replace the obsolete Czech L-39 "Albatross" which is in service in Uzbekistan) is being considered.

Negotiations are being conducted with the Ministry of Defense Industry of Azerbaijan to supply artillery shells 85-155 mm caliber (NATO and Russian standards) for the armed forces of Uzbekistan.

Active cooperation Uzbekistan also is developing with the Republic of Belarus. In particular, OJSC "140th Repair Plant" (Borisov) proposed to SE of the RU "Uzmaxsusimpeks" to create in 2017 on the Uzbek territory of the joint venture for assembling Belarusian special vehicles of dual purpose - such as "Cayman" (BBM), tracked fire truck GPM-72 (based on the T-72) such as "Pegasus" (all terrain vehicle), manufacture of rubber products, as well as of the service of the Uzbek armored tank technology (BBT) of Soviet manufacture and supplying of the components for it. The Belarusian side estimates the capacity of such enterprise at the level of repair of 2-3 units of such machines per month.

Russia is also systematically lobbying the resumption of supplies to Uzbekistan of a wide range of modern Russian weapons. After the visit of the President of Uzbekistan Sh. Merziev to Moscow (April 2017), military-technical cooperation is likely to intensify. In particular, joint ventures for the repair of armored vehicles in the territory of Uzbekistan will be built and put into operation.

In turn, China continues to expand its presence in the arms market of Uzbekistan, in particular, by exporting weapons. China is considering the possibility of granting Uzbekistan a state loan of up to $ 700 million to purchase a number of Chinese weapons.

Against this background, cooperation between the United States and Uzbekistan is less widespread. Washington in 2016 gratuitously provided Uzbekistan with 308 large armored cars, 20 armored repair and evacuation vehicles, as well as 10 reconnaissance tactical UAV type Raven.

Defense Industrial Complex

Along with the expansion of military-technical cooperation with foreign states, Tashkent plans to modernize its own defense-industrial complex.

In this regard, the issue of the formation of the relevant state body responsible for the implementation of a unified defense industry policy is being worked through, transferring to it all repair enterprises of the Ministry of Defense, as well as the Chirchik Aircraft Repair Plant and the state enterprise Research and production association «Восток» («East»). In the long term, along with increasing the effectiveness of their activities, it is planned to focus on the creation of a scientific and production base, service centers and joint ventures, and the organization of localization of certain types of military products at the country's leading enterprises.

The issue of creating joint ventures in Uzbekistan on the basis of free economic zones is being considered, which will allow in the future to produce their own military products, first of all, small arms of various caliber, ammunition, automobile armored vehicles, as well as appropriate uniforms and personal protective equipment.

To implement these projects, the state budget provides for the allocation of about 50-70 million dollars. Along with this, it is planned to attract local and foreign investments up to $ 120 million, incl. by providing state benefits.

The government of the country and the state enterprise "Uzmashprom" continue to seek opportunities to create similar enterprises with foreign partners on favorable terms for the national defense complex. In particular, in 2015 a workshop for the repair of some types of small arms and ammunition production (cartridges - 9mm to PM, 5.45mm to AK, 7.62mm to SVD and PC) was built by French technologies at the plant of the production association "Tashtekstilmash".

Reformation of the national army is envisaged in the development strategy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021.

In general, in the medium term, Tashkent will continue to expand its circle of partners in the field of military-technical cooperation.

At the same time, the main goal in this direction will be the creation of its own defense-industrial complex.