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Nagorno-Karabagh: Military Balance Between Armenia & Azerbaijan

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

    Azerbaijan Looks to Greater Reliance on Domestically Produced Weapons
    October 14, 2016, by Zaur Shiriyev
    http://www.eurasianet.org/node/80891


    With an array of new, domestically produced weapons, including sniper rifles, machine guns, armed drones, and armored vehicles, Azerbaijan is showcasing its arms industry amid growing tensions with neighboring Armenia.

    Much of the attention on Azerbaijan's growing military has focused on the country's weapons purchases from abroad, notably from Russia and Israel. But the country also has been steadily building up its indigenous production capabilities. The new wares were on display at the country's defense exposition, ADEX-2016, at the end of September.

    “Today, the Azerbaijani army is one of the strongest armies in the region,” the country's Minister of Defense Industry, Yavar Jamalov, said at the expo's opening. “Today's event is a good example of that.”

    It was the second iteration of ADEX, and Azerbaijan’s defense production has expanded significantly since the first expo two years ago: this year’s event featured 260 products, compared with 160 in 2014. There was a heightened sense of anticipation surrounding this year's ADEX due to Armenia's demonstration of powerful, newly acquired Russian Iskander-E missiles during an Independence Day parade just a few days earlier. The Armenian display raised questions about how Baku would respond.

    Expectations that Azerbaijan might display domestically produced missiles at ADEX were not met, suggesting that Baku will have to look abroad for a response to counter the Armenian missiles, against which Azerbaijan's current air defense systems are incapable of defending.

    Azerbaijan did roll out its first ever armed drone at the show; drones have taken on increasing importance in the conflict with Armenia and featured heavily in their “four-day war” in Nagorno-Karabakh this past April, the sharpest fighting since a ceasefire between the two countries was signed in 1994. Notably, the April fighting saw the first-ever combat use of Azerbaijan's Israeli-made IAI Harop “kamikaze” drones.

    At ADEX Azerbaijan demonstrated its domestically produced Zerbe (“Strike”) armed drone. Few of its specifications have been made public, but it appears similar to the Israeli Orbiter 1K, with an armed warhead, stealthy profile, and an endurance of up to three hours. Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense has ordered more than 100 Zerbe drones, which “have become a nightmare for the Armenian army,” Jamalov said.

    Other new weapons demonstrated at ADEX included the NST14.6 sniper rifle, with a range of 1,600 meters and the “Shimshek” (Lightning) machine gun, designed to be installed on tanks and armored personnel carriers. Two new types of armored vehicles were on display, as well: the Azerbaijan-made BRDM-Combat Reconnaissance vehicle equipped with anti-tank missiles, and an armored personnel carrier manufactured by an Azerbaijani-Canadian joint venture.

    Azerbaijan has built its arms industry almost from scratch. Azerbaijan played only a minor role in the Soviet defense industry, and even that tiny sector collapsed upon Azerbaijan's gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

    Baku relied mainly on Ukrainian arms during the hot phase of the Karabakh conflict in the early 1990s.

    Azerbaijan created a Ministry of Defense Industry in 2005 to oversee domestic arms manufacturing. According to the country's military doctrine, the purpose of the ministry is twofold: first, to respond to “urgent needs for military products on the part of the armed forces,” and second, to produce arms that are “competitive” for export.

    The state industry was supported by profits earned from Azerbaijani energy exports, which enabled a rapid increase in the defense budget. Spending on the military grew from $175 million in 2004 to $3.1 billion in 2011. Starting in 2011, the state budget began including a line for “private defense-oriented projects and events,” and from 2011-2015 an additional $6.1 billion was allocated toward that.

    While it is widely believed that this budget line is directed toward the Ministry of Defense Industry and buying weapons from abroad, precise details are classified. In the 2016 state budget, this line was removed amid sweeping budget cuts caused by a global collapse in oil prices. Earnings from energy exports are a critical source of government revenue.

    The state industry's first major project was the establishment of Azad Systems, a joint venture between Azerbaijan and Israeli drone manufacturer Aeronautics, in 2011. Similar joint ventures were subsequently set up by Azerbaijani and Turkish companies to produce submachine guns, anti-tank missiles, and other weaponry. Joint ventures between Azerbaijan and the South African firm Paramount produce Marauder and Matador mine protected vehicles, as well as implement helicopter modernization and upgrades.

    The scale of the domestic defense industry is difficult to assess. Baku has signed cooperation agreements with more than 30 countries, but few production agreements. In June, Jamalov said that to date his ministry has signed contracts worth $106 million “with the countries of Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.” According to the ministry, it had 27 products available for export in 2009, 132 in 2011, and 260 in 2016. In terms of domestic use, it is unclear how much of Azerbaijan's armed forces' equipment is domestically produced.

    Jamalov said that “a number of local defense products were widely used during the fighting” in April.

    Azerbaijan's arms export potential faces significant hurdles. Its main partners are Turkey and Israel, both of which are already strong exporters. It also faces regional competition from Kazakhstan, which has followed a similar strategy of establishing joint ventures with Israeli and Turkish companies, among others. The fact that Azerbaijan's defense products include a mix of Soviet/Russian and NATO standards muddles marketing strategy.

    The Azerbaijan defense industry's response to Armenia's Iskander acquisition remains unclear. Jamalov claimed at ADEX that “we are taking steps to bring 280-km range ballistic missile technology to Azerbaijan.”

    Developing new products in partnership with foreign companies takes several years, however, and it is hard to imagine that Azerbaijan will produce its own ballistic missiles in the near future.

    In 2011, Baku reached an agreement with Turkey's Roketsan to produce laser-guided anti-tank missiles. However, the resulting product – the UMTAS anti-tank missile – did not appear until ADEX-2016.

    Jamalov's statement on ballistic missile technology was ambiguous enough that it leaves various purchasing options open. Notably, Ukraine has been developing its “Grom” tactical ballistic missile system, which may suit Azerbaijan's requirements.

    Another possible supplier is France. In 2014, Baku claimed that French officials had lobbied for the purchase of the ASTER 30 SAMP/T mobile anti-aircraft system. France’s Eurosam developed the system with MBDA and Thales; the latter two companies were present at ADEX-2016.

    An expert from a government institution who spoke on condition of anonymity argued that “the best solution for protection against Iskander ballistic missiles is the ASTER 30 SAMP/T, which is effective and available for purchase.”

    Azerbaijan's options for foreign purchases may be more limited now, given the government’s budget woes. It remains uncertain whether in the current economic climate Baku is ready to purchase French or Israeli air defense systems.

    Baku's efforts to obtain arms from other countries also could be complicated by Russian interference. Russia wants to increase its own revenue through arms sales to Azerbaijan, yet it is hard to imagine what Moscow can offer in terms of missile defense against Armenia's Iskander missiles.

    Editor's note: Zaur Shiriyev is an Academy Associate at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).

    Comment


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

      Armenian Army







      Comment


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

        Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
        Azerbaijan Looks to Greater Reliance on Domestically Produced Weapons
        October 14, 2016, by Zaur Shiriyev
        http://www.eurasianet.org/node/80891


        With an array of new, domestically produced weapons, including sniper rifles, machine guns, armed drones, and armored vehicles, Azerbaijan is showcasing its arms industry amid growing tensions with neighboring Armenia.

        Much of the attention on Azerbaijan's growing military has focused on the country's weapons purchases from abroad, notably from Russia and Israel. But the country also has been steadily building up its indigenous production capabilities. The new wares were on display at the country's defense exposition, ADEX-2016, at the end of September.

        “Today, the Azerbaijani army is one of the strongest armies in the region,” the country's Minister of Defense Industry, Yavar Jamalov, said at the expo's opening. “Today's event is a good example of that.”

        It was the second iteration of ADEX, and Azerbaijan’s defense production has expanded significantly since the first expo two years ago: this year’s event featured 260 products, compared with 160 in 2014. There was a heightened sense of anticipation surrounding this year's ADEX due to Armenia's demonstration of powerful, newly acquired Russian Iskander-E missiles during an Independence Day parade just a few days earlier. The Armenian display raised questions about how Baku would respond.

        Expectations that Azerbaijan might display domestically produced missiles at ADEX were not met, suggesting that Baku will have to look abroad for a response to counter the Armenian missiles, against which Azerbaijan's current air defense systems are incapable of defending.

        Azerbaijan did roll out its first ever armed drone at the show; drones have taken on increasing importance in the conflict with Armenia and featured heavily in their “four-day war” in Nagorno-Karabakh this past April, the sharpest fighting since a ceasefire between the two countries was signed in 1994. Notably, the April fighting saw the first-ever combat use of Azerbaijan's Israeli-made IAI Harop “kamikaze” drones.

        At ADEX Azerbaijan demonstrated its domestically produced Zerbe (“Strike”) armed drone. Few of its specifications have been made public, but it appears similar to the Israeli Orbiter 1K, with an armed warhead, stealthy profile, and an endurance of up to three hours. Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense has ordered more than 100 Zerbe drones, which “have become a nightmare for the Armenian army,” Jamalov said.

        Other new weapons demonstrated at ADEX included the NST14.6 sniper rifle, with a range of 1,600 meters and the “Shimshek” (Lightning) machine gun, designed to be installed on tanks and armored personnel carriers. Two new types of armored vehicles were on display, as well: the Azerbaijan-made BRDM-Combat Reconnaissance vehicle equipped with anti-tank missiles, and an armored personnel carrier manufactured by an Azerbaijani-Canadian joint venture.

        Azerbaijan has built its arms industry almost from scratch. Azerbaijan played only a minor role in the Soviet defense industry, and even that tiny sector collapsed upon Azerbaijan's gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

        Baku relied mainly on Ukrainian arms during the hot phase of the Karabakh conflict in the early 1990s.

        Azerbaijan created a Ministry of Defense Industry in 2005 to oversee domestic arms manufacturing. According to the country's military doctrine, the purpose of the ministry is twofold: first, to respond to “urgent needs for military products on the part of the armed forces,” and second, to produce arms that are “competitive” for export.

        The state industry was supported by profits earned from Azerbaijani energy exports, which enabled a rapid increase in the defense budget. Spending on the military grew from $175 million in 2004 to $3.1 billion in 2011. Starting in 2011, the state budget began including a line for “private defense-oriented projects and events,” and from 2011-2015 an additional $6.1 billion was allocated toward that.

        While it is widely believed that this budget line is directed toward the Ministry of Defense Industry and buying weapons from abroad, precise details are classified. In the 2016 state budget, this line was removed amid sweeping budget cuts caused by a global collapse in oil prices. Earnings from energy exports are a critical source of government revenue.

        The state industry's first major project was the establishment of Azad Systems, a joint venture between Azerbaijan and Israeli drone manufacturer Aeronautics, in 2011. Similar joint ventures were subsequently set up by Azerbaijani and Turkish companies to produce submachine guns, anti-tank missiles, and other weaponry. Joint ventures between Azerbaijan and the South African firm Paramount produce Marauder and Matador mine protected vehicles, as well as implement helicopter modernization and upgrades.

        The scale of the domestic defense industry is difficult to assess. Baku has signed cooperation agreements with more than 30 countries, but few production agreements. In June, Jamalov said that to date his ministry has signed contracts worth $106 million “with the countries of Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.” According to the ministry, it had 27 products available for export in 2009, 132 in 2011, and 260 in 2016. In terms of domestic use, it is unclear how much of Azerbaijan's armed forces' equipment is domestically produced.

        Jamalov said that “a number of local defense products were widely used during the fighting” in April.

        Azerbaijan's arms export potential faces significant hurdles. Its main partners are Turkey and Israel, both of which are already strong exporters. It also faces regional competition from Kazakhstan, which has followed a similar strategy of establishing joint ventures with Israeli and Turkish companies, among others. The fact that Azerbaijan's defense products include a mix of Soviet/Russian and NATO standards muddles marketing strategy.

        The Azerbaijan defense industry's response to Armenia's Iskander acquisition remains unclear. Jamalov claimed at ADEX that “we are taking steps to bring 280-km range ballistic missile technology to Azerbaijan.”

        Developing new products in partnership with foreign companies takes several years, however, and it is hard to imagine that Azerbaijan will produce its own ballistic missiles in the near future.

        In 2011, Baku reached an agreement with Turkey's Roketsan to produce laser-guided anti-tank missiles. However, the resulting product – the UMTAS anti-tank missile – did not appear until ADEX-2016.

        Jamalov's statement on ballistic missile technology was ambiguous enough that it leaves various purchasing options open. Notably, Ukraine has been developing its “Grom” tactical ballistic missile system, which may suit Azerbaijan's requirements.

        Another possible supplier is France. In 2014, Baku claimed that French officials had lobbied for the purchase of the ASTER 30 SAMP/T mobile anti-aircraft system. France’s Eurosam developed the system with MBDA and Thales; the latter two companies were present at ADEX-2016.

        An expert from a government institution who spoke on condition of anonymity argued that “the best solution for protection against Iskander ballistic missiles is the ASTER 30 SAMP/T, which is effective and available for purchase.”

        Azerbaijan's options for foreign purchases may be more limited now, given the government’s budget woes. It remains uncertain whether in the current economic climate Baku is ready to purchase French or Israeli air defense systems.

        Baku's efforts to obtain arms from other countries also could be complicated by Russian interference. Russia wants to increase its own revenue through arms sales to Azerbaijan, yet it is hard to imagine what Moscow can offer in terms of missile defense against Armenia's Iskander missiles.

        Editor's note: Zaur Shiriyev is an Academy Associate at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).
        And we will continue to build our Army and technology. There are no limits in our capabilities.

        Comment


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

          Azerbaijan's propaganda is hilarious. They tell you they're using T90s or Israeli-upgraded T-72s where in reality this photo from the 4-Day War shows a T-72 model 1979. The T-90s are in Baku to protect Aliyev's arse. Unlike us, they take journalists to a specific post which is prepared to show off much better equipped soldiers and newer equipment.

          They do the same thing to tourists. If someone is taking photos of the old parts of the city, the police will ask them to stop taking photos.



          Comment


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

            A new educational center for the preparation of military-medical personnel has been established

            17 OCTOBER 2016
            The opening ceremony for the medical educational facility of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia took place on October 17th. Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia Vigen Sargsyan, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, Lieutenant-General Movses Hakobyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia Richard Mills, high-ranking officers and guests took part in the ceremony.


            Presenting the story behind the establishment of the military-medical educational center, Major Harutyun Hovhannisyan stressed the fact that the preparation of the professorial and officer staff took place as a result of Armenian-American cooperation, and added that facilities for training male nurses and medical orderlies were established through the joint efforts of both parties.

            The importance of the role of intermediate and junior medical staff in the conduct of medical service in the military was emphasized. Chief of the military medical department of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, Colonel Kamavor Khachatryan expressed assurances that the students of the newly established educational center will carry out their assigned tasks at a more efficiently and on an overall higher level.

            Minister of Defense Vigen Sargsyan wished the first students success and new accomplishments. Expressing his high regard for the role of the new military educational center in the preparation of military-medical staff, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia emphasized the fact that the establishment of the center is not only an investment in the enhancement of the capabilities of the Armed Forces, but also an investment for the civilian society in general. Vigen Sargsyan noted that servicemen's timely and high quality medical service is highly dependent upon nurses' skills.

            The participants toured around the military medical educational center, and acquainted themselves with the works being carried out, the educational facilities, and the ongoing and future educational programs.
            www.mil.am/en/news/4423





            Comment


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





              Comment


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

                I don't anderstand what is this rage about armed drones. One thing that came out from April war is that those drones are not capable in changing any weather in conflict. Whatever little affect they had was because of surprise use of them. Our military did not anticipate them.
                Next time our countermeasures and training will be in affect, so those drones will be even less important for the outcome then in april, this hoopla and big talk is just self illusion by Azeris.
                I am annoyed that we are letting ourself be exited by this armed drone nonsense too and may fool our selfs in spending our limited resources on something that is still a long way from becoming a game changer in wars (if at all, since except maybe Israel, for every country the cheapest and most effective armament is the human soldier).
                Imagine, all this PR of cooperation with Israel, so many millions spent and efforts, Azeris are planing to produce 100 drones in near future.
                What can 100 drones, AKA 100 shells do maximum? Just like any launcher to ordinance ratio, they will have maybe 10 crews trained and ready to lounch drones. So no more than 10 in air at any time on the whole war zone. Abviousely some will be shot down and some being miss or crush just like any flying drones. So it's fair to say maybe only 30-40 possible hits in next war. Is it a game changer or self illusion? I think the last...
                Do we spend millions and try to kill maybe 10-20 tanks when our army has shown it can burn 50-70% enemy armor just near their lounch positions with conventional ATGM and artillery?
                Why should we let our selfs fall in the dollar for dollar trap with Azeris?
                Those idiots have shown that they have money but no brains. After spending 15-20 billion in 8 years into Russian or Israeli pockets, now they they want to start domestic arms industry? Laughable...
                We should stay on course with what looks like has been started for domestic armament industry.
                Observation, fire coordination and battle logistics equipment and software.
                This is what the most important and decisive technology prospect right now. And we have shown a significant progress.
                Number one factor of modern NATO warfare is the precision and communicative tactics/software/hardware.
                In last major wars or engagements, like desert wars, quick success of American forces was mainly because of deadly accuracy of its conventional artillery, tanks, low flying helicopters and troop movements-communication/tactics. This was due to high presicion lazer guiding and pointing, night vision and computer aided strike coordination. Not some science fiction drones (which, even the most large and expensive ones have shown success in only killing large number of civilians in wedding parties, even for bin laden US used booths, not drones).
                From what it looks, Armenia has allready a good head start on this technologies. Lazer pointing, observation, guidance, night vision, software aided battle communication/command. We are producing all this allready. We should be proud and happy. We should push as much as we can in gaining worldwide foothold in this tech.
                A military grade lazer range finder, like "Leyka" or any US German make costs $12000 and up for a unit of 4kM model.
                Add to it a computer, software and GPS accuracy aiming device for artillery or MLRS and you're talking $100K price tag for every muzzle you got.
                But our guys are doing it for the fraction of cost and upgrading more and more of our old Soviet artillery/rockets every day.
                Wile traditionally only maybe 5% of artillery, mortar or rockets are calculated to make a kill, thus conventional bombardments where thousands of rounds of shells are fired for killing a single enemy position, imagine what will happen if your accuracy goes up just another 5%?
                But knowing artillery and seeing modern aiming possibilities I can assume the accuracies can go up as much as 50% or more.
                Can you imagine what can happen? Instead of bombarding a position for a fiew days to "soften up" in classic way, everything will be over in fiew minutes.
                An artillery battery of 10 muzzles will clean up a territory of as big as their range (20-40KM radius, 250 square kilometers).
                Just keep the anti aircraft defences strong.
                We also have to add our mountainous topography, where you can hide your artillery even for overhead flying aircraft, plus new technology of automatically positioning/pointing enemy firing positions, of which we have a good headstart, I think we are exactly on the right track.
                Let the Azeris try to find a magic bullet with show and bullhorns.
                Drones to defeat us... laughable.
                I urge everyone here not to get caught up with drone fever. It is sill a dead end.
                PS: I will add that the only type of drones we need now are observation and guidance drones. We need them in range from tiny ones for individual posts, to large stealthy high flying ones to observe 200-300 KM deep inside enemy territory. Our Kroonks are very good. Keep upgrading them.
                Also, keep upgrading in electronic surveillance/jamming equipment.
                Boy our military is smart. I am proud...
                Last edited by Hakob; 10-18-2016, 09:39 AM.

                Comment


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

                  30 families set to return to Talish.

                  http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/223492/

                  Comment


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

                    Originally posted by Hakob View Post
                    Drones to defeat us... laughable.
                    I urge everyone here not to get caught up with drone fever. It is sill a dead end.
                    It is not a fever! Just like any other tool, it is the newest one. When air defense is almost impenetrable for surveillance or operations without risk loosing expensive hardwares and people, small disposable drones are ideal. Most of our side needs are for few miles, not for the azeris. Drones are cheap and effective for short distance trench wars. Kids at early age are now learning everything related to robotics/softwares/coding. Many small companies are tackling defense challenges. With both of these equations we will have a nice future with high tech products for export. Give it 5 years and you will see. They are ideal challenges for the Armenian brain. The azeris on the other hand will be paying royalties to other countries to weld and fiberglassing crap as their "defense Industry".

                    Comment


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

                      I have to agree with Azad as I think drones can save lives and are very effective in finding targets and other tasks which reduce the risks posed to our soldiers. I very much appreciate Hakob and his contributions to this forum but I do not consider a military which loses soldiers on a semidaily bases "smart". I will be proud when our soldiers stop dying.
                      Hayastan or Bust.

                      Comment

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