A transition to a professional force of 12,000 to 15,000 volunteers was planned at first, but when fighting erupted in 1991 between supporters of the central government in Chisinau and supporters of separatist regions, males between eighteen and forty years of age were mobilized, and the size of Moldova's military was temporarily expanded to meet the demands of the Transnistrian conflict. In early 1995, the armed forces totaled some 11,000 volunteers, and there were plans to gradually create a professional army, similar to that of the United States.
At the beginning of 1994, the Moldovan army (under the Ministry of Defense) consisted of 9,800 men organized into three motor rifle brigades, one artillery brigade, and one reconnaissance/assault battalion. Its equipment consisted of fifty-six ballistic missile defenses; seventy-seven armored personnel carriers and sixty-seven "look-alikes;" eighteen 122mm and fifty-three 152mm towed artillery units; nine 120mm combined guns/mortars; seventy AT-4 Spigot, nineteen AT-5 Spandral, and twenty-seven AT-6 Spiral antitank guided weapons; a 73mm SPG-9 recoilless launcher, forty-five MT-12 100mm anti-tank guns; and thirty ZU-23 23mm and twelve S-60 57mm air defense guns. Moldova has received some arms from former Soviet stocks maintained on the territory of the republic as well as undetermined quantities of arms from Romania, particularly at the height of the fighting with Transnistria.
In 1994 the Moldovan air force consisted of 1,300 men organized into one fighter regiment, one helicopter squadron, and one missile brigade. Equipment used by the air force included thirty-one MiG-29 aircraft, eight Mi-8 helicopters, five transport aircraft (including an An-72), and twenty-five SA-3/-5 surface-to-air missiles.
Other military forces also existed within Moldova. In early 1994, the government of the "Dnestr Republic" had armed forces of about 5,000 which included the Dnestr battalion of the Republic Guard and some 1,000 "Cossacks." As of early 1994, the Russian 14th Army (about 9,200 troops) consisted of one army headquarters, one motor rifle division, one tank battalion, one artillery regiment, and one anti-aircraft brigade. Their equipment consisted of 120 main battle tanks, 180 armored combat vehicles, and 130 artillery/multiple rocket launchers/mortars. Peacekeepers in Transnistria consisted of six airborne battalions supplied by Russia, three infantry battalions supplied by Moldova, and three airborne battalions supplied by the "Dnestr Republic."
Military branches: Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Republic Security Forces (internal and border troops)
Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,156,705 (2000 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 913,896 (2000 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 40,239 (2000 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $6 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1% (FY99)