Turkmenistan appears to be evaluating new purchases of military hardware, especially aircraft.
Over the weekend, RDS News reported that new military aircraft had been seen in Turkmenistan, following a “sudden check of combat readiness of troops.” The report included images taken from Altyn Asyr TV, a Turkmen television channel, which aired the clips on May 3, 2018.
The images showed the C-295 transport, produced by Airbus, as well as Alenia’s C-27J transport and M-346 trainer aircraft. These aircraft have not been previously seen in Turkmen service.
Turkmenistan either acquired or is evaluating M-346, C-27J, & C-295 aircraft, as well as FM-90 air-defense system pic.twitter.com/mHrsO9oQmU
— Derek Bisaccio (@DerekBisaccio) May 7, 2018
Neighbors Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have previously ordered the C-295.
Turkmenistan does not comment on its military acquisitions, making it difficult to obtain further information on the presence of the aircraft in the country. RDS News pointed out, “One of the most interesting elements is that there are not Turkmenistan Air Force emblems on the planes. That’s to say, these planes were brought to Turkmenistan for testing.”
Also seen in the images was a picture of the FM-90, a Chinese surface-to-air missile launcher. Turkmenistan has previously contracted with China for the supply of surface-to-air systems.
Despite significant economic challenges that have sapped government revenues, Turkmenistan continues to be interested in the procurement of new military systems and has frequently contracted with a range of different suppliers in order to equip its military.