Today, Azerbaijan marks the 102nd anniversary of the creation of its Armed Forces.
The national army was established by the short-lived Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) in 1918. ADR, which was the first democratic republic among Muslims countries, started the creation of the national army in its short-lived existence until the Bolshevik occupation in 1920.
The creation of the army stemmed from the necessity to protect the achievements of the young republic due to the tense situation in the region and due to the treats of losing the country’s territories.
After gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijani parliament passed a decision on the establishment of the national army on October 9. In 1998, June 26 was declared the Armed Forces Day in accordance with the presidential decision.
The Azerbaijani Armed Forces consist of the Azerbaijani Land Forces, the Azerbaijani Air Force, and the Azerbaijani Navy. The combined forces include the Internal Troops, the National Guard, the State Border Service and the Special State Protection Service.
According to the rating of “Global Firepower”, Azerbaijani Army ranks 64th out of 138 countries. The Azerbaijani Army has 126,000 active and 300,000 reserve personnel.
According to the state budget for 2020 submitted by the Ministry of Finance, 3 billion 853 million 600 thousand manats has been allocated for Azerbaijan’s defence and national security.
Azerbaijani Armed Forces are equipped with stat-of-the-art military equipment, arms, tanks, artillery, armoured vehicles, aircraft, air defence systems, helicopters, UAVs and battleships purchased from various countries.
Azerbaijan also produces local-made military products such as sniper rifles “Istiklal”, “Mubariz”, “Yirtiji”, “Yalguzag”, hand grenade against the tank “Gaya”, combat intelligence vehicles “Gurza”, mortars “Ashirim 5”, machine guns “HP-7.62” and “UP-7.62”, assault rifles “EM-14” and “Khazri”.
Military parades were held on June 26, 2011 in Baku, in connection with the Armed Forces Day and the 20th anniversary of restoration of the country’s independence and in 2013, on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the Armed Forces Day.
By Akbar Mammadov