The weapon selection problem is a strategic issue and has a significant impact on the efficiency of defense systems. On the other hand, selecting the optimal weapon among many alternatives is a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) problem. This paper develops an evaluation model based on the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and the technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS), to help the actors in defence industries for the selection of optimal weapon in a fuzzy environment where the vagueness and subjectivity are handled with linguistic values parameterized by triangular fuzzy numbers. The AHP is used to analyze the structure of the weapon selection problem and to determine weights of the criteria, and fuzzy TOPSIS method is used to obtain final ranking. A real world application is conducted to illustrate the utilization of the model for the weapon selection problem. The application could be interpreted as demonstrating the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed model. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.