Monday 10 October 2022

Central Asian Armour: Kyrgyzstan’s Inventory of AFVs

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Though home to elements of the 17th Army Corps of the Central Asian Military District, Kyrgyzstan inherited little in the way of (modern) military equipment after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, it can be argued that Kyrgyzstan was the worst off of all post-Soviet states when it comes to the military assets they inherited (with the exception of the Baltic states). With little investments having been directed to the Kyrgyz Army since, the country's inventory in many ways resembles that of the Soviet Army during the late 1970s. The acquisition of three Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs for the State Border Guard in 2021 represents the biggest military investment by Kyrgyzstan so far, and these were used with high effect during the September 2022 border skirmishes with Tajikistan. [1]

The Kyrgyz Armed Forces has for the most part relied on Russian generosity for the acquisition of new equipment since the 1990s. In 2018 and 2019 Kyrgyzstan received four Mi-8 helicopters and two P-18 radars free of charge. [2] [3] Also supplied by Russia over the last decade were four L-39s jet trainers, two An-26 transport aircraft, several dozen BTR-70M and BRDM-2M AFVs. In 2020 it was furthermore announced that the transfer of Buk SAM systems to Kyrgyzstan was being discussed with Russia. [4] Other sources of arms and equipment include China, which has delivered a range of small arms, armoured vehicles, Smart Hunter radars and TH-G701 Satcom systems starting in the late 2010s, and the U.S., which has donated 45 Ford Ranger pickups, 44 Polaris ATVs and Navistar 7000 trucks. [5]

Our list of Tajikistan's inventory of armoured fighting vehicles can be viewed here.

This list attempts to list all AFV types currently in service with the Kyrgyz Army. This list only includes vehicles and equipment of which photographic evidence is available. ATGMs, MANPADS, trucks and jeeps are not included in the list.
(Click on the vehicle or equipment type to get a picture of them)



Armoured Fighting Vehicles


Infantry Fighting Vehicles


Armoured Personnel Carriers


Infantry Mobility Vehicles


Towed Artillery


Self-Propelled Artillery


Multiple Rocket Launchers

Towed Anti-Aircraft Guns


Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns

Static Surface-To-Air Missile (SAM) Systems

  • S-75 (One site protecting the capital Bishkek)
  • S-125 (Two sites protecting the capital Bishkek)

Self-Propelled Surface-To-Air Missile (SAM) Systems



Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

  • Orlan-10E (Not yet seen)
  •  WJ-100


Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs)

Special thanks to Buschlaid and Farooq Bhai.
[1] Documenting Losses During The September 2022 Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan Border Clash
[2] Russia donates two helicopters to Armed Forces of Kyrgyzstan  
[3] Sergei Shoigu: Kyrgyzstan can always count on support of Russia
[4] Russia and Kyrgyzstan discuss delivery of air defense systems, helicopters
[5] A Vehicles Handover Ceremony with U.S. Ambassador T.Gfoeller to Kyrgyzstan

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