Turkmenistan’s Naval Forces will be deployed at the Turkmenbashi Caspian Sea port by 2015 under the defence ministry, after the president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov approved a new programme to develop the navy.

At present, the Turkmenistan Naval Forces possess 16 patrol boats, 2,000 personnel and a joint coast guard and naval base protecting Turkmenistan’s maritime interests, according to jamestown.org.

“We need the ships to patrol our maritime borders to maintain the necessary level of security, prevent terrorism, to combat organised crime and to prevent drug trafficking organizations,” Berdimuhamedov said in August 2009 when he first signed the decree to establish a naval force.

As the country’s naval forces are the weakest among the Caspian states, Turkmenistan is intending to build its navy almost from scratch with plans to purchase two naval ships and a number of patrol boats.