Azerbaijani Navy

Summary

The Azerbaijan Navy (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Hərbi Dəniz Qüvvələri) is the naval component of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces operating in the Caspian Sea.

Azerbaijani Navy
Azərbaycan Hərbi Dəniz Qüvvələri
Azerbaijani Navy badge.svg
Founded1919; 103 years ago (1919)
Country Azerbaijan
AllegianceAzerbaijan
TypeNavy
RoleNaval warfare
Size2,200 Personnel and 24 vessels[1]
Part of Azerbaijan Armed Forces
HeadquartersBaku Naval Base (in proximity of Bay of Baku)
AnniversariesAugust 5 (Day of the Azerbaijani Navy)[2]
Fleet4 submarines
1 frigates
13+ patrol vessels
6 landing craft
7 mine warfare ships
Commanders
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Ilham Aliyev
Minister of DefenseZakir Hasanov
Commander of Azerbaijani Naval ForcesRear Admiral Subhan Bekirov
Insignia
Naval ensignNaval Flag of Azerbaijan.svg
Coast Guard S-201, the Caspian Sea

HistoryEdit

 
Ardahan cannon boat included in the fleet of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.[3]

The inception of Azerbaijani Naval Forces dates back to August 5, 1919, when the government of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established the navy force on the basis of the Russian Imperial fleet deployed in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.[4] The navy had 6 ships. After the establishment of Soviet rule in Azerbaijan, the navy was transferred to be under the jurisdiction of the Soviet Navy. In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Azerbaijani fleet of the Soviet Navy was divided between Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. In July 1992, the Azerbaijani ships were put into operation under Azerbaijani Flag in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. According to the Presidential Decree of Heydar Aliyev from 1996, August 5 was declared the Day of the Azerbaijani Navy. As of today, the Azerbaijani Navy is considered the second strongest navy in the Caspian Sea after the Russian fleet.[3]

 
Azerbaijani Navy on Baku Bay during a military parade.

Jane's Fighting Ships said in their entry for the Azeri Navy in their 2001–2002 edition that 'the Coast Guard was formed in July 2002 with ships transferred from the Caspian Flotilla and the Border Guard. By 1995 overall control had been resumed by the Russians in order to provide adequate maintenance and support. The aim is to be independent again in due course.'[5] It named the navy's commander at the time as Captain Rafig Asgarov.

OrganizationEdit

Naval Bases and installationsEdit

 
A ceremony at Puta Naval Base.

The navy operates two naval bases: one in Baku (Puta) and one for the Marines in Zığ. The current shipyard is located between Puta and Qaradagh.[6][7] The Puta Base is the largest military facility in the Caspian Sea basin. Construction began on it in October 2010. It manages the Navy and provides comprehensive control over the surface conditions in the sector of the Caspian Sea belonging to Azerbaijan.[8] There is also a Ship Repair Plant in the Navy.[9] The site of the old Soviet Naval base in Baku is now transformed to non-military use include an arts centre.[10]

Unit structureEdit

Organizationally, the Azerbaijani Navy includes:[11]

  • Main Headquarters
  • Surface Ship Brigade
    • Water Area Protection Division
    • Division of Landing Ships
    • Division of Minesweepers
    • Division of Search and Rescue Vessels'
    • Training Courts Division
  • Brigade of Patrol Ships
  • Marine Infantry
  • 641st Naval Special Operations Brigade
  • Sea Sabotage and Reconnaissance Brigade
  • Reserve
  • Mobilization reserve
    • Azerbaijan Merchant Fleet

Educational establishmentsEdit

StrengthEdit

 
An old U.S. Coast Guard 82-foot (25 m) patrol boat, now part of the Azeri Maritime Brigade, lies at anchor in Baku
Class (type) In service Notes
Submarines
Midget submarine 4 Soviet Triton-2m and Triton-1 (Project 907) submarines used by Azerbaijani Navy
Frigates
Petya-class frigate 1 (modernised) ARG Gusar(G121) modernised by USA and Turkey.
Patrol/Missile/Torpedo boats
Stenka-class patrol boat 5
Osa-class missile boat 3
Svetlyak-class patrol boat 2
AB-25 class patrol craft 2 2000 AB-34 (P-134) and AB-35 (P-135) transferred to Azerbaijan
Kılıç-class fast attack craft ?? Azerbaijan is interested in acquiring Turkish Kilic class fast attack boats.
Point-class cutter 1 Azerbaijan bought 1 Point class cutter (S-201 – ex-USCGS Point Brower) from the United States
Landing crafts
Polnocny-class landing ship 6 2 Polnocny-A and 4 Polnocny-B version
Minesweepers
Sonya-class minesweeper 2
Yevgenya-class minesweeper 5
Naval aviation
CASA/IPTN CN-235 3 HC-144A version
Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin 2
Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma 1

International cooperationEdit

Cooperation with U.S.Edit

 
Azerbaijani Navy personnel during a military parade in Baku.

In 2006, the U.S. Government donated three motorboats to the Azerbaijani Navy. There is also an agreement to provide U.S. support to refurbish Azerbaijani warships in the Caspian Sea.

On May 19, 2006, the Azerbaijani and Turkish Navy held a joint military exercise on safeguarding the security of oil and gas pipelines in Baku. The training session was observed by Azerbaijan Navy commander Shahin Sultanov and Turkish Armed Forces attaché Seyhan Ceyhan. The activities aimed to ensure the safety of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC), the main export pipeline to take Caspian oil to Turkey and further on to world markets, as well as on expanding cooperation between the two countries’ military forces. The exercises started with the clearance of mines on the seabed. This was followed by rendering harmless the traps planted in the area by symbolic terrorists. The training concluded with the practice of maritime and air operations.[12]

In 2007, an agreement between the Azerbaijani Navy and a U.S. military company was concluded, which stated that a part of the Azerbaijani Navy would be equipped with advanced laser marksmanship devices/systems. U.S. company specialists were also due to give training for the use of this new equipment.[13]

Caspian Guard InitiativeEdit

 
Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, meets with Vice Admiral Shahin Sultanov in Baku, Azerbaijan

The Caspian Guard Initiative is a framework program designed to coordinate activities in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan with those of U.S. Central Command and other U.S government agencies to enhance Caspian security. The initiative assists the two countries in improving their ability to prevent and, if needed, respond to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, drug and human trafficking, and other transnational threats in the Caspian region. EUCOM is responsible for operations in Azerbaijan.[14]

CommandersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Military Balance 2021. 2021. p. 181.
  2. ^ "В Азербайджане отметили День Военно-морского флота (фото)". 29 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Azərbaycan hərbi dəniz qüvvələrinin yaranma günüdür" [The Day of Establishment of Azerbaijani Naval Force]. Lider TV. 2010-08-05. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  4. ^ "Navy forces". Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  5. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships, 2001–2002 edition, p.35
  6. ^ "Azerbaijan to build warships in 2014". azernews.az. 12 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Azerbaijan Inaugurates New Caspian Naval Base | Eurasianet".
  8. ^ "Qaradağ rayonunda Hərbi Dəniz Qüvvələrinin yeni bazasının və "N" saylı hərbi hissənin açılışı olub Azərbaycan Prezidenti, Silahlı Qüvvələrin Ali Baş Komandanı İlham Əliyev açılışda iştirak edib – VİDEO". AZƏRBAYCAN RESPUBLİKASI MÜDAFİƏ NAZİRLİYİ (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  9. ^ "Hərbi Dəniz Qüvvələrinin modernləşdirilməsi günün tələbidir – MÜSAHİBƏ". Azeri Defence (in Azerbaijani). 2015-12-06. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  10. ^ "articles/Baku art centre launched in former Soviet naval base". ec2-79-125-124-178.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com. Archived from the original on 2019-10-11. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  11. ^ "В фарватере НАТО / Армии / Независимая газета". nvo.ng.ru. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  12. ^ "AssA-Irada news agency". azernews.net. Archived from the original on 1 June 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Azerbaijan Navy to be equipped with laser devices". Today.az. 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  14. ^ "DefenseLINK News: European Command Transforming to Accommodate New Challenges". Archived from the original on 7 April 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2014.