Azerbaijan’s defense ministry has revealed Soviet-built MT-LB amphibious auxiliary armored tracked vehicles as spoils of war from the last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh clash.
The vehicles were showcased during an exercise between the armies of Azerbaijan and Turkey in the Nakhichevan autonomous region from earlier this month.
Armenia is said to have lost up to 56 MT-LB vehicles in various variants during the 44-day war with Azerbaijan.
According to the Oryx Blog, which kept track of various Armenian equipment losses in the conflict through open source analysis, Azerbaijan might have gotten its hands on up to 35 repairable MT-LBs.
While the defense ministry first released footage of the Indestructible Brotherhood 2021 military drill over two weeks ago, Serbian defense portal Balkanska Bezbedosna Mreza was the first to spot the vehicles, which have now been repainted in a new uniform sand color.
Indestructible Brotherhood-2021 included live-fire tactical exercises by land and air units and saw MT-LB crews support conquering forces with their guns.
One of the variants of the MT-LBs that had been in service with Armenia featured M55A4 20mm triple-barreled automatic anti-aircraft guns developed by Serbian defense company Zastava. Serbia supplied the M55 to Armenia in contentious transactions in 2019 and 2020 via Vektura trans, a company allegedly linked to infamous arms dealer Slobodan Tesic. Tesic previously draw international attention, and sanctions, by supplying weapons to Liberia despite United Nations sanctions.
Armenia reportedly bought the M55s as surplus systems from the Serbian armed forces, which mustered out the guns over a decade ago.