According to Russian state-owned media, President Putin has officially signed into law the integration of Russian and Kyrgyz air defenses. The announcement reads below:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on ratifying an agreement between Russia and Kyrgyzstan on setting up joint air defenses, according to the document posted on the government’s legal information web portal on Monday.
The agreement was signed in Moscow on August 16, 2022. Under the deal, Russia and Kyrgyzstan will set up a joint regional air defense system as an integral part of the integrated air defenses of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces will exercise coordination of operations by the Russia-Kyrgyzstan joint regional air defense system and the troops integrated in the other CIS regional air defense systems.”
The CIS Joint Air Defense System (JAD) has been an evolving concept since 1995 with varying levels of success. It is a unified system that comprises air defense units and elements of the former Soviet republics under control of the Coordination Committee on Air Defense of the Council of Ministers of Defense of the CIS. Currently there are 6 de facto members of JADS: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. (Wiki)
While Kyrgyzstan has already been a proponent and participant of the JAD, the ratification and announcement undoubtedly seeks to expand cooperation and provide Putin with a small geopolitical win. The next steps will most likely be the deployment of Russian radio technical troops to Kyrgyzstan to calibrate and synchronize Kyrgyz radars and SAMs into the Russian VKS. Kyrgyzstan currently has a crumbling military infrastructure, especially their IADS which is solely comprised of legacy SA-2 and SA-3 SAMs, accompanied by old radars. The Russian Federation has provided much support in helping to control Kyrgyz airspace since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Kyrgyz Air Force is also in disrepair with many of their legacy Soviet MiGs either in storage or completely inoperable. This agreement stands to benefit Russia by adding another aerospace buffer to its Southern flank, while possibly benefiting Kyrgyzstan by modernizing their IADS.
Belarus is the most prolific of the agreement states outside of Russia in that it hosts several Russian operated radar stations, notwithstanding the tens of thousands of Russian troops currently in the country related to the Ukraine War. In 2015, the system was comprised of:
- 20 aviation units;
- 40 units of anti-aircraft missile forces;
- 20 units of radio-technical forces