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Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

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  • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

    [QUOTE=Ak105;357709]
    Originally posted by Eddo211 View Post

    What ever happened to that submachine gun? Honestly id like to see it enter service
    That would be the biggest mistake MoD could ever make. Entering a submachine gun into service, that fires 9mm? Waste of money. Small arms aren't really something Armenia needs, or requires. Itd be awesome to have an indigenous rifle in service but its too hard to implement in such a small amount of time. Rifles like the K3 just do not provide enough of an incentive and really isn't all that better than the AK74 that its based on. AK74 is probably easier to operate compared to the K3. Also, forcing a conversion to a new rifle or platform can spell disaister in combat in case war becomes a reality. AK74s is something Armenians have used since Soviet times, why fix something that isn't broken?

    AK74M with newer materials might be best for Armenia. MoD might be able to get a good price once Russia starts adopting the AK12. I do prefer the wood furniture though, just a personal preference.

    What Armenia needs to mostly focus on now is armored vehicles and ATGMs. We will have to wait until may 9 or 2016 to see anything even remotely new.


    According to the Armenian order of battle, it seems as if the armed forces have around 2400 members of the special intelligence subdivisions/reconnaissance. There are 3 battalions, each battalion consists of 300-800 men. 900+ would constitute a brigade. This is good, having soldiers with a skill set similar to the VDV but with a different role is handy.

    Armenia has one peacekeeping brigade too, brigades can be huge. I wonder if they would take an active combat role in a war? They would be very effective with the NATO-Russian mix style of experience, training, and advise they have received.
    Last edited by Chubs; 04-09-2015, 02:44 PM.
    Armenian colony of Glendale will conquer all of California!

    Comment


    • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

      How Azerbaijan’s Oil Boom – and Impending Bust – Affects Armenia
      BY MHER ALMASIAN ON APR 9, 2015

      In November of 1997, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian cited the limitless wealth and influence awaiting Azerbaijan from its oil industry as the reason the Armenian government was preparing to agree to the highly controversial 1998 Karabakh settlement.

      Since then, Azerbaijan’s economy – driven by its energy sector – has grown at an unparalleled rate, with gross domestic product (GDP) rising from $7.3 billion in 2003 to $73.5 billion in 2013. This economic growth has resulted in a surging military budget that has made Azerbaijan increasingly aggressive in its policy toward Armenia over its unequivocal position that it guarantees the security of the Artsakh Republic (also known as the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.) In that vein, Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s dictator, has threatened war with Armenia several times, most recently in a Twitter tirade.

      In the wake of Azerbaijan’s belligerent posturing, and despite massive shortcomings in Armenia’s budget by comparison, the Armenian government has had to dedicate a significant amount of its resources to security and, forced into an arms race by its neighbor, has become one of the world’s most militarized nations. This, of course, has come with a fair share of political and societal sacrifice for the country. For one, money that would be available for investing in education, industry, and infrastructure – elements that would stimulate and grow Armenia’s economy – is instead being used for the country’s defense and military. And, perhaps more importantly, Armenia’s ability to maneuver its relationship with Russia has been limited given its heavy, almost exclusive, dependence on Russian arms sales.

      Years ago, the military and economic picture was reversed. Immediately following the Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988-1994), Armenia’s economy was the first in the region to reach pre-independence GDP levels. Being the first nation to reach a positive GDP growth rate in the South Caucasus, Armenia’s economy was outperforming that of Azerbaijan and Georgia. This economic superiority meant there was more balance between the military budgets of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Combined with the fact that Azerbaijan’s military had been devastated in the recent war, with a significant portion of its military hardware destroyed or lost, the country did not pose a serious threat to Armenia. That more comfortable status also meant that Armenia was not as dependent on Russian military support – a vulnerability that the government is well aware of today.

      However, at the turn of the 21st century, as Azerbaijan began earning revenues from its energy sector, circumstances began to change. From 2001 to 2009, Azerbaijan’s annual GDP growth rate averaged 16 percent, with a peak of 35 percent in 2006 – the highest in the world for that year. The economic growth led to a ballooning state budget, with a corresponding increase in the military budget, and transformed an otherwise disorganized, corrupt, and incompetent military into a force that, if not any more organized, upright, or competent, is fantastically armed to the teeth.

      The implications for Armenia have been substantial: Armenia now relies on Russia’s support more than ever, leaning on its discounted military weapons and hardware, understanding that, without them, the military balance would favor Azerbaijan, putting Artsakh and the rest of Armenia at risk. But Russia isn’t picking sides: the country has also sold advanced weapons to Azerbaijan. This may ultimately be Russia’s goal, as it prevents either Armenia or Azerbaijan from growing powerful enough to expel Russian influence from the region.

      Today, Azerbaijan’s economic growth has slowed following the peak of oil production in 2010 – but declining oil production hasn’t directly translated into a decline of the national economy.

      To understand the future of the energy sector and the overall economy in Azerbaijan, the energy sector in the region should be divided into three key components: the oil industry, the natural gas industry, and the SOFAZ sovereign wealth fund of Azerbaijan. It is only when these three elements are analyzed separately that we begin to understand the complexities within the region and the repercussions for countries like Armenia.

      In the past decade, it’s been Azerbaijan’s oil industry that’s been the predominant force driving the region’s economy. Starting with proven reserves of about six to seven billion barrels of oil, Azerbaijan has extracted roughly half of that amount to date. Peak production was reached in 2010, when Azerbaijan averaged a collection of 1.035 million barrels of oil per day. By 2014, this number declined to about 0.86 million barrels per day. And, according to projections made by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in December of 2014, oil production is expected to decline to 0.80 million barrels per day in 2015. That would represent a 23 percent decline in five years. This descending pattern is only expected to continue as the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli complex of oil fields, which accounts for about 80 percent of oil production in the region, reaches the end of its production life. Despite 23 exploration contracts, no new oil fields have been discovered in Azerbaijan since the discovery of the complex before independence, during the 1980s. So, it’s reasonable to assume the unlikelihood of Azerbaijan discovering further significant oil reserves in the near term.

      The adverse effects of declining oil production have been compounded due to the recent decline in oil prices, with the average cost of a barrel of oil at around $50. Considering cost of production for oil is roughly $15 per barrel in Azerbaijan, the profit margin of the oil industry for Azerbaijan is rapidly shrinking. The combination of these unfavorable facts represent a direct threat to Azerbaijan, a country that depends on oil for over 90 percent of its exports and 70 percent of its state budget.

      However, the repercussions of this downturn has so far been mitigated by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ.) Established in 1999 by then-president Heydar Aliyev through the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, SOFAZ was created to manage the wealth Azerbaijan has accumulated from to its oil and gas profits and preserve it for the future. Namely, Azerbaijan wanted to avoid Dutch Disease, the economic phenomenon of negative backlash arising from unexpected increases in a nation’s economy. To date, SOFAZ has collected more than $110 billion, investing most of it internally on a yearly basis as part of the state budget.

      These investments and the employment opportunities they produce constitute a majority of Azerbaijan’s “non-oil” economic sector. The construction industry, powered by SOFAZ projects, is the second-largest enterprise of Azerbaijan’s economy, following the energy sector. Some investments from the State Oil Fund also go to more extravagant projects that offer little long-term economic returns, like the inaugural European Olympic Games, which will be held in Azerbaijan this summer and has cost the nation $8 billion, but which raise the profile of the country. This hasn’t always proved to be a winning strategy for the country: In 2012, Azerbaijan hosted the Eurovision Song Contest and was subject to calls of boycott after a light was shone by international journalists on its feverishly covered-up human rights abuses.

      However, not all of the $110 billion-plus in revenue from the State Oil Fund has been spent. As of the end of 2014, the Azerbaijani government stated that about $37 billion has been preserved for the transitional period of lower oil production and thus, lower profits. This is why the recent decline in oil production has yet to translate into a decline in government revenue or gross domestic product; during its peak years of production, Azerbaijan was only spending a portion of its oil revenue while saving the rest. So, even though the SOFAZ revenue has been gradually shrinking since 2010, it has so far been sufficient enough to maintain the country’s spending levels. As long as there is reserves remaining in the fund, Azerbaijan’s overall budget is not expected to drastically decline.

      This is why, despite the alarming level of price and production decline, Azerbaijan was expected to have a stable budget and continued – albeit much smaller – GDP growth in 2015. That’s because regardless of the total revenues received, SOFAZ is expected to contribute $13.2 billion, or 53.4 percent, to the state budget. This trend will continue until the sovereign wealth fund has been exhausted, at which point the negative effects of oil production decline will become more profoundly felt.

      It must be noted, however, that simply having a sovereign wealth fund does not solve all problems, even for the short term. For example, despite Azerbaijan’s $37 billion sovereign wealth fund, and $12 billion foreign reserve fund, the country’s currency was under heavy pressure because of the economic volatility in the region and fall of oil prices. Azerbaijan spent roughly $2 billion from December 2014 to January 2015 in defending its currency, before capitulating in mid-February and dramatically devaluing its currency by 33.5 percent against the dollar. In addition to fueling panic and creating loss of faith in the currency, this action is bound to introduce a notable rate of inflation in the coming months.

      You’re probably wondering how long it will take before SOFAZ runs out of money. During its staff visit to Azerbaijan in October of 2014, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Azerbaijan should expect a decline of $5.5 billion, or 14 percent, to its fund in 2015. That means the fund would be at $32.8 billion at the end of this year, while ending the previous year at $38.3 billion. This would represent the first annual decline in the fund.

      Even those predictions now seem too optimistic with a further drop in the price of oil. In the two months following the publication of that report, SOFAZ received $1.2 billion less than what was predicted. This trend has continued in the past two months. In January and February of this year, Azerbaijan’s income from oil was $760 million and $810 million, respectively. Those numbers represent roughly 45 percent of the $1.76 billion in revenue Azerbaijan received last June, before the fall of the price of oil.

      Moreover, major energy companies like ExxonMobil and BP have predicted that current prices for oil will stay low in the immediate future. In fact, Exxon has assumed a price of $55 a barrel for 2017, which is roughly the price of Brent Crude oil today.

      Though such projections are not always accurate, and external and regional factors contribute to the equation as well, it’s reasonable to project that with declining production, high spending levels, and limited economic diversification, Azerbaijan will have exhausted its sovereign wealth fund before the end of this decade.

      The Azerbaijani government, however, maintains that the temporary financial relief from SOFAZ is enough to sustain a stable economy until its rising gas industry takes off. This is what Azerbaijan is counting on to continue to maintain its economy. Because investment in gas requires a longer stage of infrastructural development, the gas industry in the region has developed more slowly than oil. When the Shah Deniz Pipeline finally began delivering gas in late 2006, Azerbaijan experienced a surge in its gas production and became a net gas exporter for the first time. Since then, gas production has stayed at a roughly consistent rate. According to the State Statistics Committee, Azerbaijan planned to produce 28.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2014. This number is expected to grow slightly to 30.2 billion cubic meters in 2018. Then, when Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz II pipeline begins delivery in 2019, another surge is expected. Ultimately, with all its upcoming developments in the gas sector, Azerbaijan expects to produce up to 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas by 2020 and hopes that the industry will soon replace oil as its primary source of income.

      But there are a few factors that the Azerbaijani government has failed to mention in its public statements. For one, Azerbaijan has been earning nearly $100 per barrel of oil compared to about $50 per thousand cubic meters of gas. So, even the most optimistic projections would put Azerbaijan’s future gas revenue at a small fraction compared to the region’s oil revenue. Moreover, the price of natural gas roughly mirrors the price of crude oil, and as such has dropped by roughly 30 percent in the past few months. Therefore, if the price of oil continues at current levels as predicted, the price and revenue from natural gas will also suffer in the coming years. Moreover, considering that a great portion of the non-oil economic sector is fueled by short-term projects through investments by SOFAZ, it seems implausible for that sector to be sustainable, let alone continue to grow, once the oil revenue and wealth fund have severely diminished. Therefore, in spite of hopeful government projections, it’s logical to conclude that gas revenue and other economic sectors will not become significant enough to change the realities of the vast decline of oil production and the depletion of the SOFAZ fund.

      These three factors – oil, natural gas, and SOFAZ – shape Azerbaijan’s energy sector and ultimately uphold its economy and regime. And it’s these factors that we must understand if we aim to predict the seemingly unpredictable behavior of the Azerbaijani government and designate a sound course of action for Armenia.(...)
      (...) Couldn't post the whole article here, the rest at: http://thearmenite.com/2015/04/how-a...mher-almasian/

      Comment


      • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

        Just glad we got LTP out of office when we could, there will be no compromise unless Azerbaijan allows the entire NKR, including their little "occupied territories" to make a decision in a referendum.


        War is not possible because Aliyev wants to stay in power, and leaders of Azerbaijan have a record of being overthrown during war for their incompetency. He isn't confident in himself, the big nosed bastard
        Armenian colony of Glendale will conquer all of California!

        Comment


        • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

          Azerbaijani air base near Baku. Looks like they have fortified bunkers to house their MiGs. Problem for ballistic missile?:



          Distance to an area just north of Stepanakert (Approx 250 km)




          I'm not talking about the military lol. I'm talking about police/swat
          Last edited by Chubs; 04-09-2015, 06:11 PM.
          Armenian colony of Glendale will conquer all of California!

          Comment


          • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

            [QUOTE=Chubs;357710]
            Originally posted by Ak105 View Post

            That would be the biggest mistake MoD could ever make. Entering a submachine gun into service, that fires 9mm? Waste of money. Small arms aren't really something Armenia needs, or requires. Itd be awesome to have an indigenous rifle in service but its too hard to implement in such a small amount of time. Rifles like the K3 just do not provide enough of an incentive and really isn't all that better than the AK74 that its based on. AK74 is probably easier to operate compared to the K3. Also, forcing a conversion to a new rifle or platform can spell disaister in combat in case war becomes a reality. AK74s is something Armenians have used since Soviet times, why fix something that isn't broken?

            AK74M with newer materials might be best for Armenia. MoD might be able to get a good price once Russia starts adopting the AK12. I do prefer the wood furniture though, just a personal preference.

            What Armenia needs to mostly focus on now is armored vehicles and ATGMs. We will have to wait until may 9 or 2016 to see anything even remotely new.


            According to the Armenian order of battle, it seems as if the armed forces have around 2400 members of the special intelligence subdivisions/reconnaissance. There are 3 battalions, each battalion consists of 300-800 men. 900+ would constitute a brigade. This is good, having soldiers with a skill set similar to the VDV but with a different role is handy.

            Armenia has one peacekeeping brigade too, brigades can be huge. I wonder if they would take an active combat role in a war? They would be very effective with the NATO-Russian mix style of experience, training, and advise they have received.
            I'm not talking about the military lol. I'm talking about police/swat

            Comment


            • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

              Second Azeri suicide in as many days.
              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

              Ադրբեջանական աղբյուրները հայտնում են ԶՈւ զինծառայողի ինքնասպանության մասին
              Posted on Ապրիլ 10, 2015 by Վռամ Խոջագորյան | Leave a comment

              Ադրբեջանական ոչ պաշտոնական աղբյուրներից Ռազմինֆոյին հայտնի է դարձել Բաքվի մերձակայքում տեղակայված զորամասերից մեկում գրանցված ինքնասպանության մասին։ Աղբյուրն ապրիլի 9-ին հայտնում է, որ իրեն ամրակցված զենքով ինքնասպան է եղել զինծառայող Աբբասով Ռզա Հուսեյնաղա օղլուն։ Այլ մանրամասներ դեպքի վերաբերյալ դեռևս հայտնի չեն։

              Նշենք, որ 2015-ի ապրիլ ամսին սա Ադրբեջանի պաշտպանական և անվտանգության համակարգերում տեղ գտած ու հայնտի դարձած մահվան ելքով 4-րդ միջադեպն է։ Ավելի վաղ հայտնի էր դարձել Նախիջևանի առանձին համազորային բանակի 2 զինծառայողի մահվան և ազգային անվտանգության նախարարության փոխգնդապետի ինքնասպանության մասին։

              http://razm.info/62640
              Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

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              • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

                It's official guys, Armenia has Igla-S (SA-24). We ordered 200 missiles and 50 missile launchers from Russia in 2012 and received them all in 2013 per http://armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade...e_register.php and http://www.un-register.org/HeavyWeap...rts.aspx?CoI=9

                Igla-S is the most advanced of the Igla MANPADS series and it was what Azerbaijan used to down our helicopter.

                The UN arms register all but confirms the 35 tanks and 110 armored combat vehicles we bought and received from Russia too.
                Last edited by Federate; 04-09-2015, 09:46 PM.
                Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

                Comment


                • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

                  Hmmm, I checked out Poland. Does this include modernization? Or just new acquisition? Nothing listed there. I know there is an EU/NATO arms embargo on Armenia and Azerbaijan preventing offensive weaponry being sold to the countries. Modernization/repair is not considered offensive weaponry

                  So, Armenia has 160 BTR-80s, 110 are of an unknown variant, probably standard variant, but that would just seem like a huge waste of money.

                  Do we know what tanks those are? Any information on the transaction? I know those tanks were actually send to NKR.


                  Either way, thats a good sign. I was hoping was would be ATGMs though. Armenia needs them if they are not upgrading their tanks.
                  Last edited by Chubs; 04-09-2015, 10:32 PM.
                  Armenian colony of Glendale will conquer all of California!

                  Comment


                  • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

                    Originally posted by Federate View Post
                    It's official guys, Armenia has Igla-S (SA-24). We ordered 200 missiles and 50 missile launchers from Russia in 2012 and received them all in 2013 per http://armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade...e_register.php and http://www.un-register.org/HeavyWeap...rts.aspx?CoI=9

                    Igla-S is the most advanced of the Igla MANPADS series and it was what Azerbaijan used to down our helicopter.

                    The UN arms register all but confirms the 35 tanks and 110 armored combat vehicles we bought and received from Russia too.
                    Any information on the specific version of the tanks we purchased
                    <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

                    Comment


                    • Re: Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia &amp; Azerbaijan

                      I say Armenia and Azerbaijan, kiss and make up. Solidify the borders, never talk to each other again. Armenian Armed Forces can cut down to 30 thousand men, sell off its T72s and BMPs and begin forming the military into an effective fighting force based on territorial defense, peacekeeping, etc.

                      Any information on the specific version of the tanks we purchased
                      Probably T72Bs from Russia, armstrade.org claims 35 for 50 mil. 1.45 million each tank, falls into T72B price range, maybe T72B3.

                      http://armstrade.org/files/obrazecglava4.pdf

                      2012 expenditures for acquisition of new arms: 90 million dollars.

                      My question is, what f*** BMP-2 repair costs 10 million dollars? That was obvious modernization.


                      Oh my god why can't this be a reality :P:

                      Last edited by Chubs; 04-09-2015, 10:57 PM.
                      Armenian colony of Glendale will conquer all of California!

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