By Abdul Kerimkhanov
For several years in a row, Armenia ranks third line in the ranking of the most militarized countries of the world, lagging behind only Israel and Singapore. It seems that Russia has decided to provide Armenia with promotion in this ranking.
By the way, reduction of Armenian population and an increase in the flow of arms from Russia may well contribute to this.
Earlier, Defense Minister David Tonoyan stated that Armenia is conducting negotiations with Russia on new supplies of multi-purpose Su-30SM fighters. It is planned that Yerevan will receive four such aircraft from Moscow at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020.
According to Armenian media reports, Yerevan has not yet begun paying its defense credits to Russia, the total amount of which today is $300 million. Apparently, the Russian side does not wait for payments, realizing the real possibilities of Armenia.
It is not excluded that the goal of the loan is only to camouflage a large amount of the transfer of arms to Yerevan for sale. In addition, this debt of Armenia makes it possible to Russia keep it’s ally under control.
So, Armenia is going to purchase eight more expensive aircraft from Russia in order to make regular provocations in the sky over Karabakh. Although, Yerevan still has not paid for the armament received on the first, $200 million weapon loan.
In turn, military expert Van Ambartsumian is sounding the alarm, claiming that Azerbaijan is going to acquire the newest Russian multipurpose fighter Su-30 MKA and has therefore sent part of its pilots to Algeria for training on the Algerian Su-30 MKA purchased earlier from Russia.
He considers these aircraft are superior in their combat and technical characteristics to the Russian Su-30 SM, which Yerevan should receive under a contract from Russia in 2020.
"But the problem also lies in the fact that it takes at least five years to train pilots. At the moment, Armenian pilots are not trained to fly such modern airplanes, since they had been flying all the time on subsonic Su-25 fighters," concluded the expert.
No matter how much Yerevan is armed, Azerbaijan will always be a few steps ahead of Armenia.
Recently, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces acquired Turkish super modern cruise missiles “SOM – B1”, which are manufactured using the “Stealth” technology and specifically designed to destroy air defense and missile defense targets.
These missiles are designed not only to bypass the air defense and missile defense systems but also for their direct destruction. So, the S-300 PS and S-300 PT anti-aircraft missile systems, which are in service with the Armenian Armed Forces, are a common goal for them.
These cruise missiles have a range of up to 250 kilometers, despite the fact that the minimum flight altitude is 10 meters. The minimum height of destruction of the aerodynamic targets of the Armenian S-300 PS and S-300 PT, which form the basis of Armenia’s air and missile defense, reaches 25 meters. At the same time, the maximum range of destruction of objects at these installations is 75 kilometers, and the maximum height is 27 kilometers.
These new Turkish missiles have the ability to round the terrain during the flight, and since Armenia is a mountainous country, this factor greatly complicates the work of air defense and missile defense.
Thus, Armenia is not able to become a rival of Azerbaijan even with the help of loans from Russia.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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