Tuesday 4 October 2022

Central Asian Armour: Tajikistan’s Inventory Of AFVs

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The Tajik National Army operates an exotic inventory of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) inherited from the Soviet Army in 1991 and acquired or received from China, Russia and the U.S. since. In addition, the Tajik Army has undertaken a number of indigenous projects to improve the fighting characteristics of several AFV types. Situated in Central Asia, Tajikistan is bordered by Kyrgyzstan to the north, China to the east, Afghanistan to the south and Uzbekistan to the west. Tajikistan was embroiled in a civil war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1997, and has fought several border skirmishes with Kyrgyzstan over the poorly demarcated border between both countries.

Spurred by these skirmishes and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, Tajikistan began reequipping the Tajik Army with more modern equipment. This has so far resulted in the acquisition of TOS-1A thermobaric MRLs from Russia (which also maintains a military presence in Tajikistan) and numerous AFV types from China. Both of these countries and the U.S. also make frequent equipment donations to Tajikistan. Though having the upper hand in firepower through its TOS-1As and BM-27 MRLs, Tajikistan's artillery advantage was essentially negated by Kyrgyzstan's use of Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs in the latest round of border skirmishes in September 2022. [1]
Not to be outdone, Tajikistan has made similar attempts to incorporate (armed) UAVs into its force structure. After the establishment of a production line for the Iranian Ababil-2 reconnaissance UAV and the Ababil-2T loitering munition in 2022, Tajikistan is now eyeing the acquision of UCAVs. [2] The Bayraktar TB2 from Türkiye (which is also operated by Kyrgyzstan) and the Mohajer-6 from Iran are currently believed to be the favourite candidates. In the future, the Tajik National Army is likely to continue to address the obsolence of many of its equipment types while also making limited attempts to introduce new capabilities such as mobile SAM systems and (modern) guided weapons systems. 
Our list of Kyrgyzstan's inventory of armoured fighting vehicles can be viewed here.
This list attempts to list all AFV types currently in service with the Tajik National 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


Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles

Infantry Mobility Vehicles




Engineering Vehicles

Artillery Support Vehicles

Towed Artillery


Self-Propelled Artillery

Multiple Rocket Launchers

Towed Anti-Aircraft Guns


Static Surface-To-Air Missile (SAM) Systems

  • S-75 (Likely to have been decommissioned)
  • S-125 (One site protecting the capital Dushanbe)

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

  •  Pechora-2M (One site protecting the capital Dushanbe)



Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


Loitering Munitions

Special thanks to Buschlaid and Farooq Bhai.
[1] Documenting Losses During The September 2022 Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan Border Clash https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/10/documenting-losses-during-september.html

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