Tuesday 18 October 2022

Friendship Through Arms: Turkmenistan’s Fighting Vehicles

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
Turkmenistan has accumulated an exotic arsenal of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) acquired from a colourful range of countries worldwide. Intriguingly, at least some of those acquisitions appear to stem from an intention of increasing ties with a particular country rather than of actually fulfilling a genuine military requirement for that type of equipment. This 'friendship through arms' policy comes at the cost of an increasingly complicated logistic system that by now has to source spare parts from nine different countries for Turkmenistan's fleet of infantry mobility vehicles (IMVs) alone!
In Turkmenistan, the Ground Forces, State Border Service, Ministry for National Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs all operate vast quantities of heavy weaponry, helicopters and even naval vessels acquired from a multitude of sources. Although initially contracting Ukraine to modernise a number of its T-72 tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in the 2000s, and then acquiring equipment from Russia, Turkmenistan has in recent years increasingly turned to Western countries, China, Türkiye and Israel for the acquisition of arms and equipment. [1] [2]
This list attempts to list all AFV types currently in service with the Turkmen Army and the country's other service branches. This list only includes vehicles and equipment of which photographic evidence is available. ATGMs, MANPADS, trucks and jeeps are not included in the list. If a vehicle or equipment type is operated by a service branch other than the Ground Forces this branch is indicated in brackets. For a complete overview of Turkmenistan's inventory of UAVs click here.
(Click on the equipment to get a picture of them in Turkmen service)


Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Infantry Fighting Vehicles


Armoured Personnel Carriers

Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles


Infantry Mobility Vehicles

Tactical Vehicles And Technicals


Engineering Vehicles

Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Missile Systems

Towed Artillery

Self-Propelled Artillery


Multiple Rocket Launchers

Artillery Rockets

Ballistic Missiles


(Self-Propelled) Anti-Aircraft Guns


Static Surface-To-Air Missile (SAM) Systems

  • S-125 [Range: 22km] (Three sites protecting the capital Ashgabat)
  • S-200 [Range: 300km] (Two sites protecting Türkmenbaşy and Mary)

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

Electronic Warfare Systems


Surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles

Loitering Munitions

  • SkyStriker [2021]
  • Busel MB1 (Documented by a few sources, not yet seen) 

Vertical Take-Off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


Target Drones

[1] Esoteric Armour: Ukrainian T-72UMG Tanks In Turkmenistan https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2021/08/esoteric-armour-turkmenistans-t-72umg.html
[2] Russia, Redux: Turkmenistan Acquires The Typhoon MRAP https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2021/12/russia-redux-turkmenistan-acquires.html
Special thanks to Farooq Bhai.
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