Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic and member of the Russia-led CSTO, has recently made headlines by putting up over 100 decommissioned Soviet-origin fighter planes and bombers, along with their aviation engines, for sale. This move comes shortly after c blocked the export of military goods to Russia, signaling a shift in its defense strategy.
The collection of aircraft encompasses a total of 117 units, including iconic models like the MiG-31, MiG-27, MiG-29, and Su-24, which were once at the forefront of Kazakhstan’s air force.
The announcement was made on Kazakhstan’s electronic platform for the sale of state-owned assets, with an initial price tag exceeding one billion tenge (equivalent to over 1.5 million US dollars). The sale is managed by the state entity “Kazarnaulyexport” (Kazspecexport), and the aircraft hail from military units across various regions of Kazakhstan.
These aircraft, manufactured during the 1970s and 1980s, have retired from operational service due to moral obsolescence, rendering modernization economically unfeasible. Repurposing them for other uses, including salvaging spare parts, has also been deemed impractical, highlighting their unique technical state.
In accordance with tender requirements, the sale of these legacy aircraft mandates their disposal within the premises of the Air Defense Forces military units of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan. This careful handling ensures that the decommissioned aircraft are managed responsibly, aligning with Kazakhstan’s commitment to security and stability.
The auction, facilitated by the Republican State Enterprise “Qazarnauliexport” (“Kazspecexport”) under the Committee for State Defense Orders of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, carries a total estimated value of approximately 1.9 trillion tenge.
This sale serves as a testament to Kazakhstan’s historical military assets, inherited from the disintegration of the Soviet bloc in the 1990s, and marks a crucial step in the nation’s transition towards a more modern and efficient air force.
Kazakhstan’s decision to auction off its Soviet-era fighter jets and bombers coincides with its recent acquisition of state-of-the-art Su-30SM multirole fighters from Russia, reflecting a strategic shift towards advanced and combat-tested aircraft.
The Su-30SM, now a cornerstone of Kazakhstan’s air force, complements the existing fleet of traditional Soviet-era aircraft, including Su-24s, MiG-31s, and MiG-29s. This modernization effort demonstrates Kazakhstan’s dedication to maintaining a sophisticated air force capable of addressing regional threats.
The sale of Kazakhstan’s historic fleet of Soviet-era fighter jets and bombers represents a significant milestone in the nation’s defense strategy. As these legacy aircraft find new owners, they stand as a testament to a bygone era, while Kazakhstan’s armed forces embrace cutting-edge technology to ensure the nation’s defense capabilities remain at the forefront of modern warfare.
This transition underscores Kazakhstan’s commitment to security and stability in an ever-evolving global landscape. The international community will be watching closely to see how the proceeds from this sale are utilized, particularly in light of the ongoing geopolitical shifts in the region.