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Begrudging Azerbaijan's acquiring Akinci, Armenia resorts provocations

11 February 2024 08:30 (UTC+04:00)
Begrudging Azerbaijan's acquiring Akinci, Armenia resorts provocations
Qabil Ashirov
Qabil Ashirov
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Several days ago Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visited the Air Force military facilities and watched the flyover of the Akinci unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UAV). Thus, it has been confirmed that Azerbaijan has this new model Turkish drone.

Akinci is a high-altitude long-endurance UAV. The aircraft has a 5.5+ ton maximum takeoff weight of which over 1,350 kg is payload. It is range is 7,500 km. It will be the first UAV capable of launching a cruise missile.

Previously Azerbaijani operators got training to drive Akinci. At that time many international media outlets claimed that Azerbaijan had purchased the UAV. However, at that time Azerbaijan neither confirmed nor declined the claim.

Armenian media outlets and military experts went further in the claims. Given the range of Akinci, Armenian military experts alleged that Azerbaijan purchased the UAV to change the balance in a region that included Russia and Iran. Trying to spice up their claims, they sad that Azerbaijan does not need a UAV with a 7,500 range to strike Armenia.

Speaking to Azernews on the issue, the military expert Ramil Mammadli noted that both in the world and in the region, the development of UAVs has begun. In our region, after the 44-day war in the region, Armenia took certain steps in this direction and attempted to purchase strike UAVs, and armed drones from India and other countries. Thus, the Azerbaijani army is forced to take certain steps to increase and update the number and variety of the UAV arsenal.

“The close cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkiye in the military-technical field allows us to acquire and use modern technologies of these types of vehicles produced in Turkiye. I consider that. Azerbaijan has to increase both its own production and the army's arsenal in the field of UAVs. The acquisition of Akinci will also strengthen the UAV techniques and arsenal. The advantage of this UAV is that it is more maneuverable and has the ability to destroy the target at a longer distance. It also flies at a higher altitude, and also, certain technological advantages allow this UAV to avoid air defense systems of the enemy,” the pundit said.

He emphasized that Azerbaijan is not going to oppose any state by strengthening its technologies and technical capabilities. In general, it would not be correct to talk about a change in the balance of power in the region. Because it is not necessary to forget that the UAV arsenals of Iran and Russia located in the region are not weak, even quite strong.

“Also, Azerbaijan is a state that wants to establish close economic and political cooperation based on peace and friendship with the mentioned states, not a state that intends to compete with them militarily. In short, this is not a topic of discussion. Of course, it poses a question if Azerbaijan has enough weapons that can hit the territory of Armenia, why it need a weapon with a range of 7500 km? The question is not logical. Because MIG 29, SU 25, and other combat aviation vehicles can also fly at a fairly long distance. Then let's ask what is needed for these aircraft. It is not correct to approach the issue from this aspect,” R. Mammadli concluded.

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Qabil Ashirov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @g_Ashirov

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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