Armenia is testing an unspecified number of kamikaze or suicide drones, Minister of High Tech Industry Hakob Arshakyan revealed at a press conference.
Following “state testing,” the drones will undergo a combat test, and if cleared, will be followed by mass production, the minister added.
The development is significant, as the Caucasus nation suffered huge losses during the Nagorno Karabakh war last year due to the Azeri army’s use of Turkish-made combat drones. Azerbaijan’s deployment of these drones was an important factor in the outcome of the conflict.
Dozens of Projects to Develop Combat Drones
Arshakyan said dozens of government-funded projects for the development of combat and reconnaissance drones are in various stages of development at the moment.
“Part of them are now reaching their logical completion. We are already achieving industrial capabilities in terms of both strike and reconnaissance drones,” the minister said.
“Reconnaissance UAVs that are not lagging behind parameter-wise from similar drones can already be manufactured in Armenia.”
Armenia 🇦🇲 tests homegrown loitering munitions. It seems Armenia has learned from the devastating attacks during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.https://t.co/Jk81pL6wKU pic.twitter.com/oHzdXDpxXI
— Felix Woessner (@FeWoessner) February 10, 2021
Armenian Drones in Nagorno Karabakh war
Arshakyan also disclosed that the country’s army “widely” used indigenous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the Nagorno Karabakh war, adding that home-grown radar technologies were also deployed in the air defense system during the conflict.
“In this direction we will continue funding – radar systems, communication systems, optical and surveillance, laser systems,” Arshakyan said.
“In terms of optical surveillance systems we also have rather serious developments, and already industrial capacity, soon we will expand this and greater opportunities will be created both in terms of our military supplies and exports.’’
Arshakyan said that the government has recognized the defense industry as a priority, displaying confidence that an army request for ammunition will be met this year solely through domestic production.
“I am referring to artillery measures, mortars, grenade launchers, and other directions. Rather serious investments were made in Armenia. And in this regard we already have an industrial process and the opportunity for expanding it in 2021,” he said.