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Turkmenistan parades new military equipment

The armed forces of Turkmenistan have displayed a number of new military systems, including the Lazar 3 armoured personnel carrier (APC) and the Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), in a parade on 27 September to mark the 30 th anniversary of the country's independence.

Video footage released by Watan Harbalay, the country's official information outlet, showed three Bayraktar TB2 UAVs armed with MAM-L and MAM-C micro smart munitions being carried on flatbed trucks operated by the army. In addition, Turkmenistan paraded a version of Elbit Systems' SkyStriker loitering munition.

The first formation in the parade included a single KamAZ-63968 6×6 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle. Manufactured in Russia for use in internal security and stabilisation missions, this vehicle provides room for 16 dismounts in the rear, and is protected against 14.5 mm projectiles fired from a range of 200 m, according to Russian sources. During the parade, the KamAZ-63968 was shown accompanied by three Chinese-made Dongfeng Mengshi 4×4 vehicles.

Also paraded were two Lazar 3 8×8 APCs. These vehicles appeared to be in service with the Ministry of National Security, which is understood to be the country's secret police force with responsibility for border patrols.

The Lazar 3 is manufactured by Serbia's Yugoimport, and Serbian news outlets had reported on the possible export of the vehicles to Turkmenistan in March 2021. The vehicles were shown armed with the BPPU combat module that is also used to arm the BTR-82A. The module was mounting a 30 mm 2A42 cannon (in place of the usual 2A72 for this module), and a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun.

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