At this year’s 100th Anniversary of the Azeri Army Parade in Baku, Azerbaijan we were able to get a glimpse of some of the recent developments within the Azeri Armed Forces while on parade. In terms of small arms the most significant observation is the recent introduction of what appears to be a Belarussian manufactured AR15 derivative in 7.62x39mm that we reported on earlier this month. It still isn’t clear where the weapon is made, or if Azerbaijan simply purchased it from BSVT. The country does have a significant manufacturing and industrial base that does support small arms manufacture and development so there could be local production occurring. But without any further details, we can only speculate at this point. A user on MilitaryPhotos.Net who appears to have more information claimed that the nomenclature is “AZTEX” (possibly AZTEC?) but again, we just don’t know enough at this stage.
Of particular note here is that the rifles have Meprolight M21 reflex sights mounted on them, in addition to Fab Defense furniture and iron sights. This is important because Israel appears to have had numerous contracts with the Azeris over Uzi and Tavor variants so it indicates an already established Israeli supply chain.
Notice that there are two telescoping stock variants in use on the rifles carried by the soldiers marching side by side.
IWI X95s and Tavor SARs
IWI X95s were seen in use by different units, which is a development from earlier when TAVOR SARs were in use last year. Azeri law enforcement units appear to be using the rifles with a single point attachment at the rear of the stock.
This image comes from a year previous.
The standard issue rifle of the Azeri Army is still the Kalashnikov, either in 7.62x39mm or 5.45x39mm variants.
These 7.62x39mm AKMS variants have been fitted with infrared night intensifiers, 40 round translucent magazines that appear to originate from Bulgaria. But of particular interest is the 40mm GP25/GP30 inspired underbarrel grenade launcher. Note that the handguard of the launcher is unlike any Russian variant previously or currently in service.
There was also a Turkish platoon that took part in the parade with their MPT-76s. Of note here is that there are no optical sights mounted on the rifles and that the soldiers have pushed the forward grip further down the length of the Picatinny rail. Whether this is a tactical consideration or just something to make carrying the rifles at the ready position during the parade more comfortable is not known.