By Rashid Shirinov
The capital assets of Azerbaijani Armed Forces Assistance Fund exceeded 79.212 million manats ($43,978 million) as of January 1, 2017. Moreover, the dollar account accumulated over $212,373, euro account reached 5,635 euros, while the ruble account made up 5,000 rubles.
The data was shared in the message of Azerbaijan Defence Ministry’s press service on January 5.
The Armed Forces Assistance Fund was established in line with the order issued by the President of Azerbaijan on August 17, 2002.
The Fund was established to ensure development of the Armed Forces in accordance with the contemporary requirements, strengthening the material and technical base and financing the necessary social measures.
The Armed Forces Assistance Fund is formed on the basis of voluntary donations of individuals and legal entities and at the expense of the other donations not prohibited by the national legislation.
Today, the Azerbaijani Army is considered to be the most modern army in the Caucasus. The National Army represents Air Force and Air Defense Forces, the Navy, and the Land Forces. Azerbaijani Army is one of the most powerful, highly disciplined armies in the world and the leading in the region, which is equipped with modern military machinery.
The skills and combat readiness of the Azerbaijani Army are growing year by year. The army building process in Azerbaijan is progressing as well. Azerbaijan leaves behind many CIS and regional countries to take its place among the first 70 strongest militaries of the world, according to the U.S.-based Global Firepower survey center.
Azerbaijan provides the national Army with sufficient military budget every year. Defense spending of Azerbaijan determined in the state budget for 2017 made up 2.64 billion manats ($1.47 billion), which exceeds the spending for 2016.
Moreover, Azerbaijan, which is in war with neighboring Armenia over the latter's territorial claims during more than 20 years, keeps in focus the armament, working closely with leading companies and firms in various fields of military industry, as well as creates its own armament.
The defense industry highly develops in Azerbaijan. The country’s Defense Industry Ministry increased the volume of defense industry products by 1.6 times compared to 2015, while the product assortment rose by 1.8 times.
Twenty-eight military factories are currently operating within the Defense Industry Ministry, which have manufactured 1,160 kinds of defense products so far. Azerbaijan’s defense products are exported to more than 10 countries.
In September, Azerbaijan hosted the 2nd International Defence Industry Exhibition ADEX 2016 where the country presented over 260 kinds of defense products and special-purpose weapons and ammunition, including a high-explosive air bomb QFAB-100SAB, 14.5 mm-caliber NST sniper rifle, sniper machine gun Shimshek, mine protected armored vehicles Ildirim and Gasirgha, the latest advanced types of UAVs, new models of small arms, special reconnaissance patrol vehicle Gurza, fitted with antitank guided missiles, ammunition and their warheads, etc.
Moreover, Azerbaijan plans to start serial production of Zarba unmanned aerial vehicles soon.