Rocket Troops and Artillery

Rocket Troops and Artillery were established as a separate branch of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan by the Presidential Edict dated 07 May, 2003. In accordance with order of Minister of defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated by 21 April 2009, Rocket Troops and Artillery entered into the structure of the re-created Land Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Rocket Troops and Artillery as a branch of troops are the main fire power of the Land Forces. Artillerists and missilemen fulfill the major tasks on destroying enemy. Among their advantages are maneuverability, high accuracy of blows, operational efficiency of blows, low dependence on weather conditions, seasons and other conditions.

Rocket Forces and Artillery are equipped with modern guns, howitzers, reactive, anti-tank artillery, mortars and also with intelligence and control assets. The Rocket Forces are equipped with high precision rocket complexes. Technical equipment of the Army is one of the main tasks nowadays. By instruction of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces new modern equipment, automated control systems and high accuracy weapon are accepted for service.

Among the country's top military acquisition priorities are improving the firing accuracy of its artillery. On 19 February 2009 the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan were said to have acquired three battalions of artillery systems -autonomous multi-rocket launcher “Naiza” self-propelled 120mm mortar “Aibat”, 122-millimeter self-propelled howitzer “Semser. The chief of Central Board of Arms and Military Technical Equipment of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan, Amanzhol Ospanov, informed a briefing for mass media before the session of the board of the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan. "One more battalion of modern artillery systems have been provided for the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan," he said. "One more battalion of these artillery systems is now being manufactured in Petropavlovsk Heavy Mechanical Engineering Factory." The first fruits of Israeli-Kazakh military cooperation were demonstrated amid much pomp, roar, and cordite smell to the top brass of the Kazakh army.

In April 2009 Kazakhstan Vice-Minister of Defense Kazhimurat Maermanov and the commercial agent Boris Sheinkman, Israeli citizen, were apprehended. Kazhimurat Maermanov was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan in April 2007. Prior to this appointment, he served as commander of missile forces and artillery of the Armed Forces of the Republic. A former Soviet citizen Boris Sheinkman represented in Kazakhstan interests of the four companies of Israeli military-industrial complex: Soltam, TAAS, Aeronautics Defense Systems and Elbit. Sheinkman negotiated with Kazhimurat Mayermanov joint Kazakh-Israeli development and production of artillery weapons by enterprises in Kazakhstan.

On 17 June 2009 by the order of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev Danial Akhmetov was relieved from the position of Defense Minister. Kazakhstan lost 14 billion tenge ($94.6 million) over violations in the contracts with Israeli companies. According to the documents, a joint production of up-to-date artillery systems Naiza, Aibat and Semser was planned. But the deals with the Israeli companies were declared illegal. Later the court pled Maermanov guilty of corruption crimes, abuse of authority, bribetaking and excessive use of powers. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Boris Sheinkman was sentenced to the same prison term. The charges against Maermanov related to $190 million of contracts with Israeli companies to acquire and modernize three artillery systems at inflated prices. Some of the equipment broke down. A KNB spokesman lamented the fact that 80% of the artillery systems supplied broke down after a few salvos.

In May 2009 Kazakh Defense Minister Danial Akhmetov and and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak discussed problems with artillery systems produced by IMI and Soltam earlier shipped to Kazakhstan. Barak informed his counterpart that a high-ranking representative of the Israeli Defense Ministry would come to Astana in order to discuss this situation. The Kazakh Defense Ministry said in a statement "The issue of eliminating defects in weapons shipped by Israeli companies will be discussed during his visit. The issue of confirming by independent experts the high quality of products by the Israeli defense industry, including IMI and Soltam companies, will also be touched upon."

The cycle of “operation and repairing of material part of artillery arming” is trained by specialty: “Operation and repairing of material part of ground, coastal, jet and self-propelled artillery”, “Battle use of military units of regimental and divisional artillery”, “Battle use of mortar units”. The cycle of fire control and battle work of artillery are by specialty“The fighting use of mortar artillery” and “The fighting use of sub divisions and units of regimental and divisional artillery”. In training of reserve officers in given specialty the students are studies the disciplines: The shooting and fire control of artillery.

The exercise of Rocket troops and artillery of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Ognenny val-2012” was held at the training ground “Saryshagan” in November 2012. Minister of Defense Adilbek Dzhaksybekov attended the event and watched the actions of personnel performing fire tasks of artillery. The main aim of the exercise was to check on practice and research effectiveness of fire means of artillery including the latest samples accepted for service. The targets were set up from un-serviceable combat vehicles. Commander of Rocket troops and artillery Colonel Lut Alchekenov headed the practical shootings. Alongside with military men representatives of defense industry complex participated in the exercise.

At the end of the exercise the Minister awarded the best servicemen for good skills in combat training by signature watches and underlined that currently missilemen and artillerists perfected their skills. “Various forms and methods of training are used to perfect professional level of our officers,” Minister of Defense of Kazakstan Adilbek Dzhaksybekov noted. “Among the most effective forms of training are contests on field training of division commanding officers, artillery batteries commanding officers, contest on the best decision of tasks on shooting and fire control, training on combat work with hardware.”

It should be noted that especial attention during the exercise was paid to work of teams on new signal equipment, actions of commanding officers on making decision for fire blow of targets, taking into account local and climatic conditions, artillery fire correction. The exercise evaluated real qualitative and quantitative characteristics of armament of Rocket Troops and Artillery of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan, efficiency of groups in complicated conditions, armament improvement.The event showed that this branch of troops reached the higher qualitative level of its development.

Ten-day field training exercises of artillery battalion commanders were held in one of the military units of the Regional Command Vostok in Semey in February 2013. The exercises were held in accordance with the training plan of the Regional Command Vostok for this year. The field training exercises included non-combat and practical exercises. Prior to the exercises, the commanders passed tests to define the level of their proficiency. At the end of the field training exercises, the officers underwent another test to define the level of retention of the new material. The most qualified officers of the Regional Command Vostok were involved in the exercises as trainers. At the end of the exercises, the organizers stated that artillery battalion commanders showed good theoretic knowledge and practical skills.

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