Defense Industry Workers Day in Kazakhstan Date in the current year: October 6, 2024

Defense Industry Workers Day in Kazakhstan Defense Industry Workers Day is an official professional holiday in Kazakhstan, celebrated annually on October 6. It was established in 2016, following the formation of the Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industry by order of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The foundation of the defense industry of Kazakhstan was laid during the Soviet era. In the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, there were several dozen defense plants that produced weapons and equipment for various branches of the armed forces, including the Navy, which Kazakhstan didn’t have, but other Soviet republics did.

The largest centers of the defense industry in the Kazakh SSR were Alma-Ata (now Almaty), Petropavlovsk (now Petropavl), Uralsk (now Oral) and Ust-Kamenogorsk (now Oskemen). In addition, certain Kazakhstani enterprises (the Semipalatinsk Test Site and a number of specialized factories) played an important role in the Soviet nuclear program, and the world’s first spaceport, the Baikonur Cosmodrome, was also built in Kazakhstan.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the development of the defense industry of Kazakhstan stalled. This was a consequence of the Soviet planned economy: Kazakhsani enterprises producing weapons and equipment for the Navy found themselves in a situation where their products were not in demand in Kazakhstan, since the newly independent country was landlocked, and other countries didn’t want to import them either. So the government of the newly independent Kazakhstan faced a difficult task of reorganizing the country’s defense industry.

To coordinate the work of defense plants and the development of the defense industry, the Kazakh State Corporation of Electrical and Machine Building Enterprises of the Defense Complex (KEMPO) was founded. It ceased to exist in 2005 and was replaced by Kazakhstan Engineering, a defense industry complex established by the government two years prior to unite over two dozens state owned defense industry companies.

On October 6, 2016, the president of Kazakhstan issued a decree establishing the Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industry (the predecessor of the present-day Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry). The anniversary of its establishment is celebrated as Defense Industry Workers Day, despite the fact that in 2019, the ministry’s functions and powers in the field of defense industry were transferred to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development.

Today, the defense industry complex of the Republic of Kazakhstan includes more than 40 enterprises that provide over 8,000 jobs. The priority growth area of the country’s defense industry is the production and implementation of high-tech types of military equipment and weapons using the latest technologies, such as 3D printing, information technology and composite materials.

Every year on October 6, Kazakhstani engineers, foremen, production workers, and other specialists in the field, as well as defense industry veterans, receive congratulations on their professional holiday and gratitude for their hard work and dedication.

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