Friday, November 13, 2020

Turkish and Israeli Drones Enable Azerbaijan's Decisive Victory Over Armenia

Defense analysts believe that Turkish and Israeli drones have helped Azerbaijan achieve decisive victory against Armenia. "Azerbaijan’s drones owned the battlefield in Nagorno-Karabakh — and showed future of warfare" says the Washington Post headline as tweeted by drone warfare expert Franz-Stefan Gady. Low-cost Azeri drones killed thousands of Armenian soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh and destroyed hundreds of Armenian tanks and artillery pieces, giving a huge advantage to Azerbaijan and forcing the Armenian surrender.  Armenian Prime Minister accused Pakistan of sending troops to help Azerbaijan in the conflict. Pakistan rejected Armenian allegations and congratulated Azerbaijan on its victory. 

Turkish Drones

Azeris deployed a variety of drones in their war against Armenia to wrest control of Nagorno-Karabakh, a region that is legally part of Azerbaijan but controlled by Armenians. Azeris used Turkish Bayraktar drones which are large and reusable drones. They also Kamikaze drones made by Israel which are small and designed for one-time use in destroying targets.  The small Israeli-made suicide drones are sometimes also referred to as "loitering munitions". Azeris used big old WW2 Antonov AN-2 biplanes as decoys to fool Armenian air defense systems. 

Michael Kofman, military analyst and director of Russia studies at CNA, a defense think tank in Arlington, Va. is quoted by the Washington Post as saying, “Drones offer small countries very cheap access to tactical aviation and precision guided weapons, enabling them to destroy an opponent’s much-costlier equipment such as tanks and air defense systems.”  “An air force is a very expensive thing,” he added. “And they permit the utility of air power to smaller, much poorer nations.”

In 2019, dozens of cheap drones were deployed against Abqaiq and Khurais oil fields to cut Saudi Aramco's production by half, according to multiple media reports. Saudi and US officials have blamed Iran for the destructive hit. This was the first time that cheap drone swarms loaded with explosives dodged sophisticated air defense systems to hit critical infrastructure targets in the history of warfare.  

Small drones are hard to detect even by the most sophisticated radars. It's even harder to shoot down a drone swarm because of their small size and large numbers. After Abqaiq and Khurais attacks last year, Saudi sources revealed that 25 drones and missiles were used to hit the two sites that produced 5.7 million barrels of oil per day. The incoming low-flying small drones and missiles successfully evaded US-supplied sophisticated air defense system. Multi-billion dollar cutting edge American military hardware mainly designed to deter high altitude attacks has proved no match for low-cost drones and cruise missiles used in a strike that crippled its giant oil industry. 

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Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel


Bea said...

Armenia air defense is a joke. If those primitive drone are engaging a major power. It will be downed in no time.

Riaz Haq said...

Bea: "Armenia air defense is a joke. If those primitive drone are engaging a major power. It will be downed in no time."

These drones are small and hard to detect even by sophisticated radars. It's even harder to shoot down a drone swarm because of their small size and large numbers.

Besides, Azerbaijanis used big old WW2 Antonov biplanes as decoys to fool Armenian air defense system.


Consider the drone swarm attack on Saudi oil facilities last year

Saudi sources have revealed through the media that 25 drones and missiles were used to hit two sites — the Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities which produced 5.7 million barrels of oil per day. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of carrying out the attack. Iran has denied. Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incoming low-flying small drones and missiles successfully evaded US-supplied sophisticated air defense system. Multi-billion dollar cutting edge American military hardware mainly designed to deter high altitude attacks has proved no match for low-cost drones and cruise missiles used in a strike that crippled its giant oil industry.

Anonymous said...

Not really Turks via their proxies unsuccessfully tried similar drone storm tactics against Russian bases in syria.

Russian electronic warfare units disabled 100s of them(Basically jammed the drones links with control stations resulting in them crashing).

Russian planes then dropped several hundred tonnes of high explosives on turk backed rebels killing thousands and resulting in a sort of 'understanding' between Russia and Turkey.

This type of drone warfare doesn't work against an advanced country which can not only build advanced weapons from raw materials on its own territory but knows how to use it.Russian national sport is chess.

Against a small cash poor country with a moronic government like Armenia..sure devastatingly effective.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Russian electronic warfare units disabled 100s of them(Basically jammed the drones links with control stations resulting in them crashing)"

These are unverified Russian claims.

Armenians do have Russian air defense systems that may have shot down a few Turkish drones but many more Turkish drones easily penetrated and destroyed Armenian positions.

Anonymous said...

Armenians have very old Russian SAMs totally unsuited for this type of warfare.A few old unupgraded S300 systems designed to shoot aircraft but nothing like the pantsir S1 etc.

Their moronic government also alienated Russia and severed intelligence links so Armenians did not have access to Russian satellite and Awacs links the way Azerbaijan had access to Turkey and some say Israeli intelligence.

There are many NATO verifications of what Russia did to Turkish Drones in both Syria and Libya.

My point is this was Armenians 1971 moment they had the most incompetent government at a time when their enemy had the most competent which evidently not only learnt from their previous war but also invested significantly in Diplomacy and tactics.

Armenians were filled with their own version of 'martial race' bravado after their victory in the 1990s against a much larger Azeri force.

Never underestimate your enemy let alone an enemy of a much larger and economically more successful country.Sounds fairly obvious but many Empires have fallen because of ignoring something this obvious.

Well the Azeris learnt their lessons and comprehensively won this war.

Drone warfare will not be this easy or effective for anyone else in any future war.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Armenians have very old Russian SAMs totally unsuited for this type of warfare.A few old unupgraded S300 systems designed to shoot aircraft but nothing like the pantsir S1 etc."

Do you think the Saudis have old air defense systems that failed to protect from a drone strike on oil facilities last year? Read this:

Saudi Arabia boasts an arsenal of sophisticated and expensive air defense equipment. They have the American-made Patriot missile defense system, German-made Skyguard air defense cannons and France’s Shahine mobile anti-aircraft system, and they’ll soon have Lockheed Martin’s highly advanced THAAD (terminal high altitude area defense) interceptors.

But these are basically inconsequential, says Jack Watling, a land warfare expert at the Royal United Services Institute who advises Gulf militaries.

“The Patriots are kind of irrelevant,” Watling told CNBC in a phone interview. “The track record of Patriot engaging missiles of any kind is pretty awful, they very rarely hit the target.” The other issue, he says, is that it’s designed for shooting down high-altitude ballistic missiles, not the cruise missiles and drones used in Saturday’s attack.

“These were low-flying cruise missiles. They were coming in far below the engagement zone for Patriot. So you wouldn’t have tried to hit them with Patriot.” In its primary role of shooting down aircraft, Watling noted, the system does perform “very well.”

BTW, the Russian S-400 system is useless against low-flying missiles and drones. Read below:

But news alert: The S-400 is also not built for hitting low-flying targets. This rank speculation from missile defense critics and further propagated by media that don’t understand the complexities of missile defense only emboldens adversaries that are working against the interests of the U.S. and our allies.

In the coming weeks, intelligence agencies are slated to release their findings about the attack, and only at that point should we be considering what needs to be done differently to prevent another attack. The likelihood that the conclusion is to “buy Russian” is, and very well should be, low.

The reality is more likely this: Effective missile defense systems are not based on one weapon capable of stopping everything. Only diverse, layered and integrated air and missile defense systems in combination can combat all types of incoming attacks. Without an interconnected, layered system that can work together and be successfully operated by highly trained personnel, there will be gaps in the coverage — regardless of where or who it’s made by. As mentioned, the Patriot was built to protect against high-flying targets, and without integration with other weapons like counter-unmanned aircraft systems that are rapidly evolving, targets like Aramco are not fully protected.

It’s not only difficult to believe that a proven system like Patriot that’s deployed in 17 countries and has been used successfully in hundreds of combat engagements simply failed, it is also highly unlikely. We also don’t yet know other specifics such as employment techniques and crew-training levels around the oil facilities. All these factors are very likely to add to the complexity of the investigation.

Anonymous said...

Thats what I said s300 is an anti aircraft system designed to shoot down fighter planes like the F 16s.

Drones(not advanced jet powered stealth UCAVs) are very slow flying(slower than ww1 bi planes!) non stealth machines with rudimentary radio links with ground controllers.

You take them out by jamming these radio links or by anti aircraft guns with good over the horizon aesa radar not super expensive missiles like the S300/400/500.This is what Russia or any advanced military (not idiots with money like Saudis) uses to neutralize drones which is why there are no reports of significant losses suffered by them against adversaries with drones.

So the lesson here is Armenian incompetence and arrogance leading to slaughter not that low cost drones are some new wonder weapons the world has no defence against.

But yes congratulations to the Azeris they more than made up for the 1990s humiliation..

FF said...

Flying munitions (Drones) are the future. Ability to build cheap drones and deploying them in the battle field as a substitute for human soldiers is how the future wars will be fought. With the advancement in AI, the drones will keep becoming smarter and will eventually replace the human soldiers completely.

Riaz Haq said...

FF: "With the advancement in AI, the drones will keep becoming smarter and will eventually replace the human soldiers completely"

Machines replacing humans on the battlefield raises many ethical questions. How autonomous will robotic soldiers be? Will these machines obey the laws of war? Will such bots distinguish between friend and foe or between combatants and non-combatants?  Who will be culpable for war crimes? etc etc 

Riaz Haq said...

China Conducts Test Of Massive Suicide Drone Swarm Launched From A Box On A Truck
China shows off its ability to rapidly launch 48 weaponized drones from the back of a truck, as well as from helicopters.

Loitering munitions have also demonstrated the ability to have a devastating impact on an opponent, even when just used en masse rather than as part of a truly networked swarm. This reality has been especially visible, as seen in the video below, during the ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. You can read about more about this in The War Zone's recent coverage of that conflict. The danger that small drones, even home-brew types non-state actors are capable of building, pose to nation-state militaries is only becoming more and more apparent.


China recently conducted a test involving a swarm of loitering munitions, also often referred to as suicide drones, deployed from a box-like array of tubular launchers on a light tactical vehicle and from helicopters. This underscores how the drone swarm threat, broadly, is becoming ever-more real and will present increasingly serious challenges for military forces around the world in future conflicts.

The China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology (CAEIT) reportedly carried out the test in September. CAEIT is a subsidiary of the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), which carried out a record-breaking drone swarm experiment in June 2017, involving nearly 120 small fixed-wing unmanned aircraft. Four months later, CAEIT conducted its own larger experiment with 200 fixed-wing drones. Chinese companies have also demonstrated impressive swarms using quad-copter-type drones for large public displays.

We don't know the name or designation of the drones CAEIT used in its September test, or that of the complete system being employed. However, video footage, seen below, shows that the unmanned aircraft are very similar in form and function to more recent models of China Poly Defense's CH-901 loitering munition.

When the tube-launched CH-901 first emerged in 2016, it featured a pair of pop-out wings, as well as a folding v-tail. More recently, that design has evolved and replaced the v-tail with another set of pop-out wings and folding twin-tail arrangement, similar to the drones we see in the CAEIT test video.

Of course, designs featuring two pairs of folding wings are very common for tube-launched drones and loitering munitions, including the Switchblade suicide drone from U.S. manufacturer AeroVironment. The unmanned aircraft CAEIT employed in its experiment is also reminiscent of American defense contractor Raytheon's Coyote.

The Coyote comparison also extends to launch options CAEIT demonstrated in its recent test. The 48-tube ground-based launcher, which is mounted on a modified 6x6 version of the Dongfeng Mengshi light tactical vehicle, is similar in some respects to multi-tube trail-mounted launchers that the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research used to launch Coyotes as part of its Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) effort, as seen in the video below. Poly Defense has also shown at least a mock-up of an array of tubular launchers for the CH-901.

Ahmed said...

Sir Riaz

Asalam Aalaikum,

Can you pls throw some light on the difference between drones manufactured in India and Pakistan? Is it true that Pakistan has entered in the 2nd drone technology and its drones are better than that of India?


Riaz Haq said...

Why Chinese Kamikaze Drones Pose An ‘Existential Threat’ To Indian T-72 Tanks Deployed In Ladakh?

The recent clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan might have shown how effective these drones could be against enemy armor, meanwhile, it also shows the high number of drone losses for both sides. The high costs and the susceptibility of these systems (US MQ9 Reaper SkyGuardian Drones) would also have raised eyebrows for the Indian services.

The deal’s Acceptance of Necessity (AON) is still yet to be approved by the Defense Acquisition Council, which is one of the most important steps in a foreign arms procurement in the Indian government.

The US diplomats wanted the SkyGuardian deal to be the highlight of their visit to India, however, they had to be satisfied only with the highlights of the inking of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), an important milestone between the two nations.

This also allows the Indian operators to use the American navigational and mapping systems, paving a way for future procurement of the MQ-9Bs. The deal could still be signed in the future, but the plan appears to be shelved by New Delhi, at least for now.

Instead, the services might go forward with the “Project Cheetah”, which is to upgrade the existing drones to carry out offensive operations against the enemy. Under this project, 90 Heron drones of the three services would be upgraded to be armed with laser-guided bombs, air to ground, and air-launched anti-tank guided missiles.

The costs saved from signing the SkyGuardian deal could be used more efficiently by investing in long-sought indigenous procurement of LCA Tejas Mk-1As and Light Combat Helicopters, and supporting the internal industries under the helm of “Aatmnirbhar Bharat”.

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir Riaz and your team.

Sir, pls kindly conduct some research on this, I am curious to know the difference in the drone technologies of India and Pakistan. According to a Pakistani Journalist Mr.Mubashir Lucman whom you might have seen on some Pakistani news channels, Pakistan is ahead of India in drone technology. How true is this claim?

Sir also kindly throw some light on the progress of Pakistan in Virtualization, Is Pakistan ahead of India in Virtualization?


Riaz Haq said...

China, Pakistan to Co-Produce 48 Strike-Capable Wing Loong II Drones by Franz-Stefan Gady

China and Pakistan have reportedly reached an agreement for the co-production of 48 Chinese-made unmanned aerial vehicles.

State-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) have agreed to co-produce 48 Chinese-designed next-generation medium-altitude long-endurance and strike-capable Wing Loong II unnamed aerial vehicles (UAV), the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) revealed in a social media post on October 6.

Neither AVIC nor PAC have so far publicly confirmed the inking of a sales contract. It is also unclear when the purported deal was signed or how much it is worth. Additionally, there is no information when the 48 UAVs are slated for delivery. Pakistan has been mulling the purchase of additional Chinese-made UAVs for a number of years. (The PAF is currently operating four China-made Caihong 4 (CH-4), or Rainbow 4, UAVs.)

The Wing Loong II UAV successfully completed its first maiden flight on February 27, 2017. As I reported in March 2017:

China’s latest strike-capable drone has been designed and developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, a subsidiary of AVIC. With an overall length of 11 meters, a wingspan of 20.5 meters, and a height of 4.1 meters, the Wing Loong II UAV was first publicly revealed at the Airshow China 2016 in November 2016. At the airshow, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s (CASC) for the first time publicly displayed a prototype of its latest and most capable attack and reconnaissance UAV, the Caihong 5 (CH-5), or Rainbow 5.

The Wing Loong II is an upgraded variant of the Wing Loong UAV first introduced into service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force in 2008. An export version of the drone has been sold to a number of international customers including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. (…) In terms of size and payload, the original Wing Loong combat drone is comparable to the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, which is slated to be retired by the U.S. Air Force by the end of the year.


Indian LT GEN H S PANAG (RETD) on drones:

As early as 2013, Pakistan had displayed two domestically produced drones based on China’s CH-3 model that were already in service in its armed forces. In 2015, Pakistan used its domestic model, the Burraq, based on CH-3 in a publicly-owned strike on militants in the North Waziristan region. In 2018, China finalised its biggest drone sale when Pakistan agreed to buy 48 GJ-2 drones, under its export name Wing Loong II. Pakistan is also likely to possess loiter munitions in unknown numbers.

Riaz Haq said...

China-#Turkey-#Pakistan Alliance Dangerous For India Diplomatically, Economically. While all eyes have been on #India and #China after the recent scuffle in #Ladakh, experts have warned that Indian must be prepared to counter China-Turkey-Pakistan alliance.

Over the years China and Turkey have been cementing their ties which have often been constrained by Turkey’s NATO membership. However, the bilateral ties got a fillip ever since China launched its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seized the opportunity as he struggles to consolidate his AKP Party and reclaim the glory of Turkey’s Ottoman past. Another reason was that Erdogan’s ambitions to anoint himself as the leader of the Muslim world saw Turkey embroil itself in wars in foreign lands, thus putting Ankara in financial difficulties.

Straddling two continents, Turkey is strategically important for China’s BRI, as a trade and transport hub, significantly cutting down freight transportation time from China to Europe and Africa. Turkey had also launched its own connectivity project to access the Caucasus and Central Asia through the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway, known as the Middle Corridor.

Turkey is also a priority country with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The bank is helping in the construction of the Salt Lake underground gas storage facility project, said to be the world’s largest storage project. Turkey is also an observer at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

So eager is Turkey for its partnership with China, that Erdogan who is positioning himself as the modern-day Caliph of the Muslims, has turned a blind eye to China’s oppression of its Uighur Muslim community.

While Erdogan has turned a blind to the plight of Uighur Muslims, he has voiced support for Indian Muslims living in Kashmir. In fact, Turkey was one of the three countries, besides China and Pakistan, to condemn India’s decision to revoke J&K’s special status.

Erdogan raised the issue in the UN General Assembly. During his February visit to Pakistan, he compared the struggle of Kashmiris with the Ottoman Empire’s fight during World War I.

Turkey provides Pakistan with emotional, ideological, and political support, while China is providing both material and political support. With China’s support, the Kashmir issue has thrice been discussed in the UN Security Council since August 5, 2019.

Pakistan’s insistence and Turkey’s focus has also seen the Organization of Islamic Cooperation raising the Kashmir issue more than it normally would have.

Considering Erdogan and his party’s Islamist orientation and well-documented support to radical and terror groups, together with Pakistan’s support and sponsor of cross-border terror, and China’s expansionist tendencies, the China-Pakistan-Turkey nexus is one India needs to watch out for.

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

I have some questions, is it true that all these UAVs(Unarmed Arial Vehicles) or drone planes operate using solar energy? Is it true that they have a specific storage inside its battery where it obsorbs sun light energy and stores it ,and later when the drone plane is turned on or switched on, it converts this solar(light) energy into electric energy and runs the drone planes?

Sir, is this how drone planes operate?

Sir another question, as far as I know AI(Artificial Intelligence) can be applied to any machine especially to electronic machines ,even it can be applied to aircrafts ,ships and cars. Can we also apply AI(Artificial Intelligence) to drone planes?

If we do apply AI(Artificial Intelligence) to drone planes, what will be the side effects of it?

According to my limited knowledge and understanding, AI(Artificial Intelligence) is an advance form of technology which enhances the capabilities of a machine or makes a machine or device more effective. It improves the machine in the areas in which human beings are better than machines.

Pls can you throw some light on this?


Anonymous said...

systems like the Russian S-400 are going to be useless when 75 unmanned drones are flying towards you. Do you risk wasting your missiles on them only to have a wave of real bombers come over the horizon minutes later.

Chan said...

Fact is that Mountain warfare has been changed forever... high up positions are no longer safe... precision munitions on loitering drones will make life hell for those dumb enough to pull their heads out of the dugout.
It is simultaneously not limited to offense but also supplying and supporting formations.

Riaz Haq said...

Do you wonder why #Armenia lost to #Azerbaijan so badly? Did #Modi really chasten #Turkey which supplied #drones to #Azeris? Look at this #Indian headline from 9 months ago: “India Wins Defense Deal With Armenia in Bid to Chasten Turkey” – The Diplomat

In a major success for India’s defense sector, India reportedly outbid Russia and Poland to win a $40 million defense deal to supply four indigenously-built military radars to Armenia. These radars, known as SWATHI, were developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Indeed, this deal is a major achievement for the “Make in India” program in the defense sector as it could open new opportunities in Europe for the sale of India’s indigenous systems, at lower costs than equivalent European systems. It could also help the Indian defense industry to make inroads into markets in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. But this deal has other strategic implications. It is clearly aimed at countering increasing hostility from Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toward India.

In September 2019, speaking at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Erdogan – who has aspirations to position himself as a strong leader in the Muslim world – raised the issue of Kashmir at the behest of Pakistan. The residents of Jammu and Kashmir have been kept “virtually under blockade,” Erdogan, told the UN General Assembly, referring to the measures taken by New Delhi to maintain law and order in Kashmir following the revocation of Article 370. Erdogan also stated that the Kashmir issue has awaited a solution for 72 years and that a solution can only be found through dialogue between India and Pakistan — a position that India has strongly rejected, maintaining that Kashmir is an integral part of India.

Since then, New Delhi has not pulled any punches on Turkey. An immediate fallout of Erdogan’s speech was that Prime Minister Narendra Modi met – on the sidelines of the UN Summit itself – with the heads of Ankara’s archrivals, including neighboring Greece, Cyprus, and Armenia, all of whom have an ax to grind with Turkey. Particularly, Armenia is still locked in acrimony with Turkey over the 1915 genocide (a term Ankara strongly rejects), which saw the killing of over a million Armenian Christians in the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of modern Turkey. Next, New Delhi cancelled Modi’s planned visit to Turkey and a lucrative $2.32 billion naval deal with Turkish defense company Anadolu Shipyard for five 45,000 ton fleet support ships for India, followed by a reduction in imports from Turkey. Pertinently, Pakistan awarded fresh naval ship contracts to Turkey to offset their loss. India also condemned Turkey’s military offensive against the Kurds and urged the Erdogan government to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Undeterred by New Delhi’s response, Erdogan has continued with his tirade against India. During his February visit to Islamabad, he reiterated his country’s support for Pakistan on Kashmir, telling a joint session of Pakistan’s parliament that India’s decision to revoke the erstwhile state’s special status had “exacerbated the troubles of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters.”

New Delhi’s response to Turkey has been evenly matched. And in a classical realpolitik move, as advocated by ancient Indian strategist Chanakya (regarded by some as the Indian Machiavelli) New Delhi has stepped up relations with Armenia. An enemy’s enemy is your friend, as the logic goes.

Thus, while Erdogan was cozying up with Imran Khan in Pakistan, the Indian and Armenian foreign ministers held a one-on-one dialogue in the United States. A joint statement read, “Armenian-Indian relations have gained a new quality,” stressing on “the importance of preserving the dynamics of bilateral political dialogue.”

Riaz Haq said...

War in the Caucasus: Lessons

by Ejaz Haider

Azerbaijan could either just swallow Armenian intransigence or wait for the right opportunity. It gambled on the latter.

But, and that’s important: war is serious business and cannot be undertaken lightly.

At the politico-strategic level, the growing differential between Azeri and Armenian economies unfolded in Baku’s favour. The bigger economy (oil revenues, tourism, higher exports etc) allowed Baku to spend more on defence. However, except for 2015 when Azerbaijan’s defence spending rose to 5.6% of its GDP, it averaged at just below 4% between 2009 and 2019. Armenia, while spending relatively more on defence as a percentage of its GDP, averaging 4.5%, could not catch up given the much smaller size of its economy. According to data by the Stockholm International and Peace Research Institute, Baku spent some USD24 billion on defence between 2009 and 2018. Armenia spent a little over USD4 billion for the same period.

Nonetheless, the economy is just one factor, though a very important one. A state intending to go to war must also have its diplomatic flanks covered. Armenia has always been a close ally of Russia. Russia’s relations with Azerbaijan have seen ebbs and flows. However, since 2018, Armenia-Russia relations despite a military pact (Russia also maintains a base in Armenia) have been strained while Moscow’s relations with Baku have improved.

Azerbaijan also has very close relations with Turkey for historical, ethnic and linguistic reasons. Armenia and Turkey have historically been inimical. Azerbaijan and Turkey might be two separate states, but they consider themselves the same people. Azerbaijan also has strong ties with Israel. Turkey is also the second most important state player in the Caucasus and under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has developed a complicated relationship with Russia, which considers the former Soviet republics as Moscow’s sphere of influence.

Azerbaijan has been buying military equipment from Turkey, Israel and Russia. Its military has very close ties with the Turkish military; both sides have been conducting joint exercises and Turkey has been training Azeri officers and ranks. Azerbaijan’s military training, deployment, employment of equipment and doctrinal development owes greatly to the Turkish military.

Lesson 2: if a state wants to go to war, it must have strong backers.

Azerbaijan also has a strong legal case on its conflict with Armenia and the separatist Armenian government (not even recognised by Armenia for that reason). The UN resolutions completely support Azerbaijan’s claims on N-K.

Lesson 3: it’s always good to have a strong legal case if a state wants to use force.

This is as far as the politico-strategic environment is concerned and Azerbaijan managed to create its asymmetric advantage over Armenia at that level.

But war, in the end, is a contest where the will of the fighting sides is tested. That’s where we come to the military-operational level. The lessons at this level are quite fascinating.

From the actual conduct of war it is clear that Armenia was fighting the previous war (when it had an edge) while Azerbaijan had planned its offensives for the present war. It showed superior planning (the opening phase targeted the relatively flatter southern districts abutting N-K) and execution. Here are some lessons.

Riaz Haq said...

How does drone warfare impact India’s preparedness?

With neighbours such as Pakistan and China, threat lies for India at any given point of time. Bolstering its military with the latest technology is the need of the hour, for which India has already been making moves in the combat drone/UCAV spectrum. The Indian Army is in possession of around 90 Heron Surveillance drones and the Harop loitering munition. Additionally, the army is planning to acquire more of these from Israel.

In August this year, the defence approved the upgrade of Heron UAVs. The upgrade will include arming some of these drones, sources in Indian security establishment said. The decision comes amid the India-China standoff as the Indian military is preparing to enhance its surveillance capabilities at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Heron UAVs are already being used in the forward areas of Ladakh.

India is also looking to expedite its testing of the indigenous surveillance drones ‘Rustom-2’ before inducting them into service.

During the defence expo in Lucknow in February this year, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) from Israel and Dynnamatic Technologies Limited signed an agreement for manufacturing of drones.

The Indian Army also opted for the SpyLite mini-UAV for high-altitude aerial surveillance. This is built by Cyient Solutions & Systems (CSS), a joint venture between Cyient Ltd (India) and BlueBird Aero Systems (Israel).

With the opening of the American drone market, India is also exploring the possibility of acquiring several GA-ASI MQ-9 Reapers from the US subject to approval.

Talking about threats from neighbours, Pakistan has a plethora of options to choose from if it decides to expand its already existing combat drone options. Both Turkey and China design and manufacture high-end drone equipment. On the other hand, India will hope to bank upon Israel and the US.

With regards to the use of combat drones in our part of the world (read India’s border with Pakistan and China) drone warfare may not be as successful as it was in the Armenian context. This is because both India and Pakistan have heavy air defence systems.

Unless India completely dominates the air warfare, drones may not be as successful when it comes to combat operations. The induction of Rafale may help India with this regard.

China is the bigger player when it comes to drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It has invested a lot of effort in developing civilian drones and the same has been translated into them developing combat drones. China is one of the leading countries when it comes to R&D concerning drone technology.

China also possesses anti-drone technology used to jam signals that disrupt drones or shoot incoming drones in order to divert or destroy them.

With China’s growing dominance in global drone market and Pakistan’s proximity with Beijing, India needs to quickly adapt to the changing game of drone warfare as it is likely to become even more prevalent in coming years.


UCAVs also have a less carrying capacity compared to fighter jets. Hence, they are used in small but precise attacks rather than air-based raids that jets usually engage in. Azerbaijan used a new method of precision warfare that best compliments the use of such drones. This was only possible for rich and well-established militaries before, but now technology has made this more accessible to countries like Azerbaijan.

To name a few, countries with outstanding border conflicts include India, Pakistan, Serbia, Ukraine and many others. All these nations have already started purchasing attack drones and UCAVs.

The combat drone market can further explode by the Trump administration's push to deregulate their armed drone sales in a bid to allow the US manufacturers to compete in an export market dominated by China, Israel and Turkey.

Riaz Haq said...

The Impact of
Artificial Intelligence
on Strategic Stability
and Nuclear Risk
Volume III
South Asian Perspectives
edited by petr topychkanov

The ongoing renaissance of artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world. Just
like many other developing countries, India and Pakistan—the two nuclear-armed
states of South Asia—are exploring the subsequent opportunities for economic and
social change. Their political leaders seem to prioritize civilian applications of AI
over the military, and public attention reflects the political priorities. National
efforts to militarize AI do not receive the same public coverage as civilian AI
Meanwhile, according to the available open-source information, India and
Pakistan are increasingly interested in the potential benefits of AI for defence and
security. This might be one of the reasons why an expert debate on the opportunities and risks posed by the AI renaissance in the military realm has started
in recent years. However, the debate suffers from large gaps, particularly in the
emerging discussion on the potential impact of AI on strategic stability and
nuclear risk in South Asia. This issue has been underexplored by scholars studying South Asia from both inside and outside the region.
This edited volume—which follows earlier volumes on Euro-Atlantic and East
Asian perspectives—tries to fill the gaps in the scholarly debate on this important
topic and to facilitate further regional debate. It is based on a workshop held in
Colombo in February 2019. The eight expert contributors—from South Asia and
around the world—reflect the variety of issues, approaches and views.
It is clear from a comparative study of the state of adoption of AI in South
Asia that India and Pakistan are playing catch-up in the world competition on
military AI. Compared to the United States, China and Russia, India’s advances
are modest, while Pakistan’s are even less visible. One of the reasons seems to
be under-resourcing and inefficiencies in defence research and state industries.
These prohibit the development and adoption of emerging technologies within a
reasonable time frame.

However, according to contributors from India and Pakistan, both countries are well aware of the strategic significance of AI. They see AI as one of many enablers of the mutual strategic balance. India must also take into consideration the role of AI in the military build-up of China, one of its long-term security concerns.
In assessing the strategic significance of AI, the expert contributors—regardless of their origin—agree that AI is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, AI could enhance nuclear command and control, early warning, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), and the physical security of nuclear capabilities, among other areas. In this way it would improve states’ sense of security. On the other hand, the same advances could cast doubt on the survivability of their respective second-strike capabilities. This doubt would stimulate more aggressive nuclear postures that could increase nuclear risk.

Riaz Haq said...

Growing #Turkey-#Pakistan #Defense Collaboration: Turkey sees #nuclear power Pakistan as a strategic ally and partner in building its Siper long-range missile-defense project and TF-X fighter jet. Ankara seeks to be a power center in a multipolar world.

Turkey is pushing to co-manufacture warplanes and missiles with Pakistan, a hookup that could also give it access to prized war technology from China.

Turkish defense and government officials have held periodic talks with Pakistani counterparts -- the last high-level discussion was in January -- about developing and manufacturing military hardware with Pakistan, according to people from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations. The people didn’t say when they’ll meet again or how close they are to an agreement.

A deal would get NATO-member Turkey closer to some of China’s military technology. Pakistan builds its JF-17 fighter jets with China and is said to have adapted Chinese designs for its Shaheen ballistic missile.

Turkey sees nuclear power Pakistan as a strategic ally and potential partner in building its Siper long-range missile-defense project and TF-X fighter jet, the people familiar said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss strategic goals. The people didn’t say whether the talks have gotten to the point of seeking Beijing’s consent to share Chinese defense technology.

Asked about restrictions imposed on weapons exports, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that the Chinese government “has always adopted a prudent and responsible attitude in the export of military products and strictly implements China’s military export management laws and regulations as well as its international duties.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed “very serious potential” for collaboration with Pakistan on defense projects, and top defense officials have met in recent months. Pakistani Defense Secretary Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain met with top Turkish officials including Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in December, and discussed defense industry cooperation, the people familiar said. Akar has also met with Pakistan’s defense minister, military chief and air force chief, and accompanied Erdogan on a visit to Pakistan over the past year.

The countries already have some cooperation in the defense industry, including co-producing warships Turkey has sold Pakistan.

Turkish adoption of Chinese military technology could cause new frictions with the U.S., which would be loath to see Ankara move further away from the Western military alliance. Washington is already sanctioning Turkey for buying a missile-defense system from Russia, and has suspended Turkish companies from participating in the development of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 stealth fighter jet.

The Turkish officials who spoke on the contacts with Pakistan said the outreach meshes with Ankara’s aspiration to become a power center in an increasingly multipolar world.

Riaz Haq said...

Inexpensive Turkish armed drones reshaping warfare

Turkey’s armed low-cost unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UAVs) that have proven their capabilities on the field are reshaping battlefields and geopolitics, a (Wall Street Journal) report said Thursday.

The drones were successfully used in several recent regional conflicts in which they were seen pinpointing and hunting down armored vehicles and air defense systems, including in Libya, Syria and the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The drones also proved particularly useful in the fight against terrorist groups.

Smaller militaries around the world have been seen deploying inexpensive missile-equipped drones against armored enemies, proving it to be an advantageous new battlefield tactic, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Using affordable digital technology, the Turkish drones wrecked air-defense systems, tanks and other armored vehicles in wars in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan, the report notes.

"These drones point to future warfare being shaped as much by cheap but effective fighting vehicles as expensive ones with the most advanced technology," it said.

Last July during a virtual gathering of the Air and Space Power Conference, Britain's Defense Secretary Ben Wallace stressed the "game-changing" role of Turkish drones in modern warfare in the Middle East and North Africa.

"We need to look at the lessons of others. Look how Turkey has been operating in Libya, where it has used Bayraktar TB2 UAVs since mid-2019," said Wallace at the time.

The Bayraktar TB2 is a tactical armed UAV system developed and manufactured by drone magnate Baykar Makina.

According to the company, currently, 160 Bayraktar platforms are being put to use by Turkey, Qatar, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

Poland last month announced it would buy 24 Bayraktar drones.

The Wall Street Journal report compared Bayraktar TB2 with the American MQ-9.

The TB2 is lightly armed with four laser-guided missiles. Its radio-controlled apparatus limits its basic range to around 200 miles, roughly a fifth of the ground the MQ-9 can cover, said the report.

"Yet it is utilitarian and reliable – qualities reminiscent of the Soviet Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle that changed warfare in the 20th century," praised the report.

"A set of six Bayraktar TB2 drones, ground units and other essential operations equipment costs tens of millions of dollars, rather than hundreds of millions for the MQ-9," said the report.

The Bayraktar TB2 first made an international name for itself in the Syria war early last year after the Turkish military launched Operation Spring Shield in northern Syria, backed by electronic warfare systems, ground troops, artillery and warplanes.

The report also highlighted the role of the drones in the Libyan civil war, which it said "helped turn the tide" in the conflict last spring.

Turkey backed the Tripoli-based government against putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar and his forces.

"Improved drone tactics honed in Syria provided the upper hand against Russian-made surface-to-air missile systems known as Pantsir, handing the Tripoli government aerial supremacy. By June, Haftar's forces retreated from Tripoli," outlined the report.

Riaz Haq said...

The TB2 (armed drone) was born of Turkey’s dissatisfaction with available models from the U.S. and Israel, and the country’s desire for systems under its control to fight the PKK, a Kurdish militant group.

“Those countries did not cooperate with us sufficiently, so we had to launch our own program,” Mustafa Varank, Turkey’s minister of industry and technology, said in an interview. “Turkey is now reaping the fruits of taking the right decisions at the right time.”

Baykar emerged as a leader among several Turkish drone producers after spotting a niche in the early 2000s, said Mr. Bayraktar, the company’s chief executive. His brother Selcuk Bayraktar, who took advanced studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came up with flight-control software and guidance systems while using off-the-shelf components.

During development, company officials set up a workshop at a military base to get a firsthand understanding, including from a colonel who took them to a patch of bloodied ground where, they said, Turkish soldiers were killed by the PKK.

In 2007, Turkey launched a national competition to supply mini drones, which yielded an order of 76 from Baykar. At the time, the U.S. wouldn’t sell armed drones to Turkey. Baykar developed the TB2 and gradually replaced foreign components with locally produced ones. In 2015, the company successfully test-fired a precision-guided munition.

Turkey’s military initially used the drones within its own borders and in northern Iraq and Syria. Soon, Mr. Erdogan deployed them in wars near Turkey’s borders.

Azerbaijan, geographically and culturally close to Turkey, procured a set of TB2 drones last year. The country had lost control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region to Armenia in a war that ended in a 1994 cease-fire. Rising petroleum wealth had bolstered Azerbaijan’s military in the years since.

The TB2s, as well as Israeli-made drones, helped Azerbaijan overwhelm Armenian forces. Attacks were recorded for videos and posted online by Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry.


Oryx, a blog that verifies destroyed equipment using photos and videos, cited the destruction by the drones of 106 Armenian tanks, 146 artillery pieces, 62 multiple rocket-launch systems, 18 surface-to-air missile systems, seven radar units and 161 other vehicles. Total losses, Oryx noted, were likely higher. Azerbaijan had 30 tanks destroyed, among other vehicles and equipment, according to the blog.

After six weeks of fighting, the Kremlin, which is close to both countries but has a military alliance with Armenia and troops on its territory, brokered a cease-fire in November, and Azerbaijan regained most of its long-lost territory.

The Azerbaijan victory caught the attention of Turkey’s suppliers. Some companies and countries, including Canada, halted export of components used in the TB2. Baykar company officials said they have integrated a Turkish camera and accelerated work on a replacement engine, which is expected by year’s end.

Riaz Haq said...

As India remains engulfed in conflicts with both Pakistan and China concurrently, one thing that the Indian military officials would be keenly evaluating is the drone strength of both adversaries.

Pakistan is also known to have acquired 50 Wing Loong II armed drones from China, which according to official Chinese media, could turn out to be a “nightmare for Indian ground formations in high-altitude areas,” with India having the little capability to repel advanced stand-off weapons.

Both China and Pakistan are bolstering their unmanned attack capabilities, while India is preparing to lease the US and Israeli armed drones to boost its capability at the borders. India has so far employed its Israel-imported Searcher and Harop drones only for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes.


Last year’s war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh clearly demonstrated the decisive advantage attack drones could bring to any battlefield.

Drone strikes by Azerbaijan targeting Armenian troops, destroying military installations, tanks, air defense systems, and artillery tilted the balance of the war in favor of the Turkey-backed country. The war over Nagorno-Karabakh was unequivocal proof of the strategic advantage provided by armed drones to the militaries possessing them.

Drones have proved to be a powerful, effective and low-cost alternative to conventional weapons, and countries around the world are in a race to acquire the most advanced armed drone fleets.

The US was the first country to use Predator armed drones in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks and since then many countries have been producing and exporting them, most notably Israel, Turkey and China.

Azerbaijan had acquired a substantial fleet of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and Israeli kamikaze drones that allowed it to decimate the Armenian ground forces and Russian air defense systems.

Turkey has reaped the benefits of the performance of its drones in the Nagorno-Karabakh war with multiple nations lining up to procure the country’s unmanned systems.

The country has sold its Bayraktar TB2 armed drones to countries like Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Qatar, and Libya so far. Poland recently became the first NATO nation to buy 24 Bayraktar TB2 drones from Turkey and according to reports, another NATO member from Europe, Latvia, may follow suit.

There have been reports that Pakistan has expressed deep interest to acquire TB2 drones from Turkey and going by the strong defense ties both nations enjoy, these speculations could soon turn out to be a reality.

The Bayraktar TB-2 drones, as demonstrated in the recent battle, can deceive modern air defense systems which include, as proven recently, Russian Pantsir and S-300 air defense systems.

Pakistan is also known to have acquired 50 Wing Loong II armed drones from China, which according to official Chinese media, could turn out to be a “nightmare for Indian ground formations in high-altitude areas,” with India having the little capability to repel advanced stand-off weapons.

Both China and Pakistan are bolstering their unmanned attack capabilities, while India is preparing to lease the US and Israeli armed drones to boost its capability at the borders. India has so far employed its Israel-imported Searcher and Harop drones only for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes.

Is India Prepared To Counter China, Pakistan?
India is also acquiring new advanced Heron drones on lease from Israel to keep an eye on the activities along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. The new fleet will have more capabilities in terms of anti-jamming capabilities and weapons, reports indicate.

The Indian Navy also equipped itself with two Predator drones leased from the American firm General Atomics. The MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones will be deployed for long-range missions over the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.

Riaz Haq said...

Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan launch joint the "Three Brothers 2021" military exercise in #Baku. #Turkey & #Pakistan backed #Azerbaijan from the first day of the 44-day war against the #Armenian armed forces in Sept 2020.

Turkish, Azerbaijani and Pakistani militaries launched their first-ever joint exercises in Baku on Sunday.

The "Three Brothers – 2021" exercises kicked off with a solemn opening ceremony. While national anthems of the participating countries were played and their flags raised, a minute of silence was also observed to commemorate their martyrs.

Speaking at the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Hikmat Mirzayev, Azerbaijan's special forces commander, said he was pleased to see the representatives of Turkish and Pakistani special forces in his country.

"Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan have entered the history of humanity as close friends and brothers. At the heart of these relations are the close ties between our peoples. Evidence of this can be seen in the solidarity and support of Turkey and Pakistan to Azerbaijan from the first day of the 44-day counteroffensive operations launched by Azerbaijan against the Armenian armed forces on Sept. 27, 2020," Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry quoted him as saying.

He was referring to the Nagorno-Karabakh war, which began last September and ended six weeks later following a Russia-brokered truce in November.

Azerbaijan liberated several cities and some 300 settlements and villages after a nearly three-decade occupation.

"Today, cooperation between our countries in all areas is at the highest level. Important measures are being taken to further strengthen and develop our relations to ensure the region's and peoples' security," Mirzayev said.

He hoped that the exercises, which will be held until Sept. 20, will provide an extensive exchange of experience and views between servicemen of the three countries and will "greatly contribute" to further improvement of the professional training.

Turkish, Pakistani and Azerbaijani troops attend the opening ceremony of the joint military drill in Baku, Sept. 12, 2021. (Azerbaijani Defense Ministry Handout via AA)
Turkish, Pakistani and Azerbaijani troops attend the opening ceremony of the joint military drill in Baku, Sept. 12, 2021. (Azerbaijani Defense Ministry Handout via AA)
The heads of Turkish and Pakistani delegations, Lt. Col. Kursat Konuk and Lt. Col. Aamir Shahzad, said the existing bond of friendship between the nations and armies "would stand the test of time" in a rapidly changing global environment.

The "three brothers will grow closer" as reliable regional partners and collaborators despite international political changes, they added.

The readout said that the joint military drills will serve to "further strengthen the existing" ties between the armies, as well as provide an opportunity to discover new ways to combat terrorism.

In July, Turkish, Azerbaijani and Pakistani parliament speakers accepted the Baku Declaration in a ceremony held at the Azerbaijani Parliament.

The joint declaration emphasizes the need to strengthen cooperation among the three countries, based on cultural and historical ties, mutual respect and confidence. It also emphasizes Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pakistan's roles in building peace, stability and development in their regions.

Turkey and Azerbaijan held joint live-fire drills in Baku earlier this year.

Riaz Haq said...

#Military #Drones Tip the Balance in #Ethiopia’s Civil War. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pulled off a stunning reversal in the year-old conflict with the help of armed drones supplied by the #UAE, #Turkey and #Iran. #Africa #AbiyAhmed #Tigray #TPLF .

“Increasingly, unmanned systems are becoming a game changer,” said Peter W. Singer, an expert on drone warfare at New America, a research group in Washington. “It’s not just about the raw capability of the drones themselves — it’s the multiplying effect they have on nearly every other human and system on the battlefield.”

For Mr. Abiy, the drones arrived just in time.

He launched a military campaign in Tigray in November 2020, a year after he won the Nobel Peace Prize, in coordination with the leader of neighboring Eritrea. But his forces suffered a humiliating defeat last summer when Tigrayan rebels forced them from Tigray, then started to push south. By late November the Tigrayans were approaching the city of Debre Birhan, about 85 miles north of Addis Ababa.

But they could go no further. Swarms of drones appeared overhead, striking soldiers and supply convoys, Gen. Tsadkan Gebretensae, a leading Tigrayan commander, said in an interview with The New York Times.

“At one time, there were 10 drones in the sky,” he said. “You can imagine the effect. We were an easy target.”

Mr. Abiy built his drone arsenal by tapping the sympathy of foreign autocrats and a booming segment of the global arms trade.

Even as he talked about negotiations, Mr. Abiy was turning to other countries to bolster his military. Nearly every day, cargo flights arrived from a military base in the United Arab Emirates, one of Mr. Abiy’s closest allies.

The Emiratis had trained Mr. Abiy’s Republican Guard and provided crucial military support at the start of the war, running drone strikes that took out Tigrayan artillery and weapons depots, a Western official and a former Ethiopian official said.

The Emirati strikes stopped in January after President Biden came to power, under pressure from Washington. But they have resumed in recent months, largely in the form of the latest Chinese-made drones, the officials said.

The Emirati drone strikes, under the direction of the national security adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed al-Nahyan, appear to be a snub to American diplomatic efforts to end the war. American officials say they are trying to draw the U.A.E. into peace efforts as an ally, but that cooperation is limited.

In a meeting with the United States regional envoy, Jeffrey Feltman, earlier this week, Sheikh al-Nahyan denied that his country was shipping weapons to Ethiopia, an American official with knowledge of the meeting said.

By contrast, Mr. Abiy’s dealings with Turkey have been relatively open.

He signed a military pact in August with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose Bayraktar TB2 drone played a decisive role in Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is manufactured by a company run by Mr. Erdogan’s son-in-law.

Turkish drones are attractive to many African countries seeking battle-tested, relatively cheap hardware with few strings attached. “Even in Africa, everywhere I go, they want U.A.V.s,” Mr. Erdogan boasted in October after a tour of Nigeria, Togo and Angola. (Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles).

After Bayraktar drones appeared in Ethiopia recently, Turkish officials insisted the drone sale was a purely commercial activity — defense and aviation exports to Ethiopia rose to $95 million this year, up from $235,000 in 2020, the Turkish Exporters Assembly reported.

But in recent days, Turkish officials have privately claimed to have frozen exports to Ethiopia, apparently in response to international pressure over a war that has become a byword for atrocities and starvation.

At least 400,000 people are living in famine-like conditions, according to the United Nations.

Riaz Haq said...

#China deploys armed robotic ground vehicles during standoff with #India to deal with cold, difficult terrain. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) acquired the vehicles – known as the Sharp Claw and the Mule-200 – as early as 2014 | Fox News

Reports from India claim that China has started to deploy armed robotic vehicles to handle the altitude and terrain that has proven too difficult for its troops.

China and India clashed in Sept. 2020 during a border dispute along the southern coast of Pangong Lake in an area known in China as Shenpaoshan and in India as Chushul, but the armies continued their standoff along the two nations' borders throughout 2021. China has now reportedly deployed unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) to the region of Tibet to strengthen its position.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) acquired the vehicles – known as the Sharp Claw and the Mule-200 – as early as 2014, but they have not seen much deployment until now. The Chinese military has deployed around 120-300 Mules to Tibet, the majority of them stationed near the border, WION News reported.

Operators can control the Claw wirelessly, but it can also move on its own, according to National Interest. The Mule can serve as either an unmanned delivery truck or utilize weapons, such as mounted guns.

The PLA has deployed around 88 Sharp Claws into Tibet, with 38 of them in the western part of the province close to where the Indian and Chinese armies maintain a standoff, Times Now News reported.

The region in which the vehicles may have deployed is described as exceedingly arid, remote, and largely inhospitable. The area mainly serves as access for a few commerce routes to cross the desert.

The PLA has also deployed the VP-22 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle, which can help move troops through the difficult terrain or serve as an ambulance. Most of the 70 units reportedly deployed to Tibet have also focused in the western sector.

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic have called on world governments to halt the development of war robots for almost a decade, but efforts continue.

Tech company Zhong Tian Zhu Kong Technology Holdings developed the Mule, which has a range of roughly 31 miles (50 km)and can carry up to 440 pounds (200 kg) of ammunition, supplies or weapons.


Chinese Defense Company NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) developed the Sharp Claw for reconnaissance and limited engagements. The operator wears a small control unit to utilize the vehicle, Army Recognition reported.

Riaz Haq said...

Shashank Joshi
In this week's
: my 10-page Technology Quarterly on hiding vs finding in warfare: the impact of more sensors, better sensors & better-connected sensors. It ranges from synthetic aperture radar, to anti-submarine warfare, to modern deception.


Hide and Seek
Defence technology
War among the sensors poses new challenges, says Shashank Joshi

Like smartphones, but lethal: The technology of seeing and shooting your enemies
All the targets, all the time: Synthetic-aperture radar is making the Earth’s surface watchable 24/7
See-through seas: Finding submarines is likely to get easier
Lots of signal, lots of noise: Where to process data, and how to add them up
Fierce contests: Deception and destruction can still blind the enemy

Riaz Haq said...

#China may sell or help #Pakistan develop its own HGV (Hypersonic Glide Vehicle) or sell #hypersonic DF-17 #missile. It's in response to #India's #Russian S-400 acquisition which may limit Pakistan's use of its own airspace, given its geography/proximity

Pakistan and China have come up with a new strategy in wake of India flexing its military muscle. Experts suggest that China is likely to equip Pakistan with its DF-17 hypersonic missile system in a bid to counter India's S-400 air defence system. Richard D. Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in an interview has claimed that China is likely to sell the DF-17 or assist Pakistani HGV like it has supported North Korea’s new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) missile warhead. Hypersonic weapons, which travel at Mach 5 speeds (five times the speed of sound), are difficult to track and engage for air defence systems like S-400, that both India and China possess. Pakistan sees India's acquisition of the S-400 as a threat because of the system's versatility, which allows it to shoot down planes even in Pakistani airspace. A notable element of the S-400 is its potential offensive capabilities, which would limit an adversary's usage of its own airspace. The defensive system can cover a huge portion of Pakistan because of the country's terrain and lengthy border with India.


Richard D. Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, testified before the US Congress about China’s military advances and has written extensively about the People’s Liberation Army.

“To the extent that China has supported North Korea’s new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) missile warhead, it has or will similarly assist a Pakistani HGV, or just sell the DF-17,” he told Defense News.

Given the air defense system’s superior sensors and the array of missiles, the Indian Media has referred to the S-400 as a “game-changer.” The S-400 employs four different types of surface-to-air missiles having a range from 40 to 400 kilometers.

Riaz Haq said...

Turkish Aerospace, Pakistani institution to jointly produce UAV parts

One of Turkey’s leading unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) producers, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), has inked a contract with Pakistan's National Engineering and Science Commission (NESCOM) to produce components for TAI's medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) combat drone, Anka.

TAI and NESCOM will be jointly responsible for employment, resource and technology transfer within the scope of the agreement that was inked to expand the markets for the Turkish drones, an Anadolu Agency (AA) report said Saturday.

TAI General Manager Temel Kotil said, “The contract we made with Pakistan within the scope of our Anka UAV systems will provide significant gains to the UAV industry. This acquisition, especially with Pakistan’s National Engineering and Science Commission, will strengthen our UAVs.”

The Anka UAV performed its maiden flight in September 2016 and entered serial production in 2017.

The drone, which is manufactured locally, is currently in active use by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), the Gendarmerie General Command and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

Anka can stay in the air for more than 24 hours at an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) with a payload capacity of 250 kilograms (550 pounds).

Anka has three configurations. The Anka-S configuration has Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) capability through satellite links and is being used by the TSK and the Gendarmerie units. The Anka-B configuration can use Link Relay capabilities and is also used by the TSK and the Gendarmerie The Anka-I, which is the configuration that performs signal intelligence, is used by the MIT.

Riaz Haq said...

Turkey Widens War Tech Hunt by Tapping Pakistan’s China Tie

Turkey Widens War Tech Hunt by Tapping Pakistan’s China Ties
Turkey wants to produce fighter jets, missiles with Pakistan
Pakistan makes jets with China, said to use its missile design

Turkey is pushing to co-manufacture warplanes and missiles with Pakistan, a hookup that could also give it access to prized war technology from China.

Turkish defense and government officials have held periodic talks with Pakistani counterparts -- the last high-level discussion was in January -- about developing and manufacturing military hardware with Pakistan, according to people from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations. The people didn’t say when they’ll meet again or how close they are to an agreement.


Why Turkey wants tie-up with Pakistan to build '1st big fighter jet of Muslims'The TF-X project is considered cornerstone of Turkey's defence modernisation plans

Bloomberg noted the apparent aim of the cooperation with Pakistan was to bring "Turkey closer to some of China’s military technology". China has been Pakistan's main strategic benefactor for decades, helping Islamabad build fighter aircraft, missiles, warships, tanks and submarines.

In 2013, Turkey announced a Chinese company had been selected to develop a long-range surface-to-air missile system. However, in 2015, Turkey announced the cancellation of the deal with China, apparently over Beijing's reluctance to transfer technology for the project as well as pressure from NATO allies.

China already has two stealth fighter projects: The J-20 fighter that is in service and the lighter J-31 fighter that is still in development. While China has also faced obstacles in developing aircraft engines, Beijing is beginning to make progress in building indigenous propulsion systems for its warplanes.

Interestingly, Pakistan also has a 'fifth-generation' fighter project under development referred to as 'Project Azm'. However, little is known about progress on the project and given Pakistan's economic and technological limitations, an indigenous project of this magnitude is unlikely to see the light of day. Hence, the offer of cooperation from Turkey may turn out to be appealing to Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Ukraine Says It Used #Turkish-Made #Drones to Hit #Russian Targets. Ukraine’s air force confirmed two strikes on Russian targets by Turkish-made drones, evidence that #Kyiv is using the drones effectively against #Moscow’s invading forces.

Ukraine’s air force confirmed two strikes on Russian targets by Turkish-made drones, evidence that Kyiv is using the drones effectively against Moscow’s invading forces.

The chief of Ukraine’s air force, Lt. Gen. Mykola Oleshchuk, called the Bayraktar TB2 drones “life-giving” in a Facebook post.

A video posted on Twitter by the Ukrainian Embassy in Ankara showed a convoy of more than a dozen vehicles consumed by a fireball and a plume of smoke. The embassy tweeted two more videos taken out the window of a moving vehicle showing the charred wreckage of military vehicles.

The Ukrainian air force confirmed that one of these videos depicted the result of a TB2 strike in the town of Chornobaivka, in southern Ukraine, an area that has experienced serious fighting over the past couple of days.

“Never a rose without a thorn,” the embassy wrote in one of the tweets. “Russian invaders have to put up with Bayraktar TB2s.”

The embassy called the strike “divine justice” for a Russian airstrike that killed 34 Turkish soldiers in Syria on this date two years ago.

Ukraine began receiving shipments of the Turkish-made drones in 2019 and has been using their high-powered cameras to view the battlefield and laser-correct artillery strikes. The TB2 can stay aloft for 24 hours, with an altitude ceiling of roughly 25,000 feet. A remote pilot can fly the drone from as far away as 185 miles, weather permitting.

Riaz Haq said...

"We Are Witnessing a New Form of Warfare" | Washington Monthly

Q: What do you make of the offer by Poland to provide MiG fighters to the United States that we would then deliver to Ukraine?

A: It was really not smart of the Poles to float this publicly. It was an unforced error on their part. The more visible this discussion is, the less helpful it is.

Q: So how will Ukraine get the fighters it needs?

A: There are countries that have MiGs that are not members of NATO. This is a classic case where the U.S. government gets its checkbook out and quietly goes to one of those countries. The fighters just show up in Ukraine. The Russians wouldn’t even necessarily know where they came from—remember, right now, they don’t even control the airspace over Ukraine. They would obviously know what happened, but the United States and NATO would have deniability. It’s called “foreign material acquisition.” We did this all the time during the Cold War.

Q: How vital is it to get those MIGs to Ukraine?

A: I don’t see it as being decisive. Maybe I’m wrong. The Ukrainians seem to want them badly. I’m sure they want to use them to hit Russian tanks and deny Russia control of the airspace. But they are doing an amazing job of that with the weapons we already gave them. We’ve supplied them with something like 17,000 anti-tank missiles and I don’t know how many [antiaircraft] Stingers. We should be giving them thousands more.

We are witnessing a new form of warfare. To put a tank on a battlefield costs maybe $30 million. A Javelin anti-tank missile costs $175,000. Similarly with fighter jets and antiaircraft missiles. You can defend territory at a tiny fraction of what it costs the aggressor to take it. The drones the Ukrainians bought from the Turks are doing incredible damage. But just the cheap commercial drones you buy at Walmart can give you total tactical awareness of the battlefield. So Ukrainians can see everything the Russians are doing. They don’t even nee

Riaz Haq said...

US defense contractors see longer term benefits from war in Ukraine

New York (AFP) – US arms manufacturers are not cashing in directly from the thousands of missiles, drones and other weapons being sent to Ukraine, but they do stand to profit big-time over the long run by supplying countries eager to boost their defenses against Russia.

Like other Western countries, the United States has turned to its own stocks to furnish Ukraine with shoulder-fired Stinger and Javelin missiles, for instance. These weapons from Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon Technologies were paid for some time ago.

So these companies' first quarter results, due to be released in coming weeks, should not be especially fatter because of the rush to arm Ukraine as it fights off the Russian invasion.

But those US military weapons stockpiles being tapped for Kyiv will need to be replenished.

The Pentagon plans to use $3.5 billion earmarked for this purpose in a spending bill approved in mid-March, a Defense Department spokesman told AFP.

The Javelin anti-tank missile is made by a joint venture between Lockheed and Raytheon. The latter's Stinger anti-aircraft missile had ceased to be produced until the Pentagon ordered $340 million of them last summer.

"We are exploring options to more quickly replenish US inventories and backfill depleted stocks of allies and partners," the spokesman said.

"It will take time to revive the industrial base -- at the prime and at sub-tier suppliers -- to enable production to resume," he added.

The profits that the companies make from these missiles, known for being simple to use, will not exactly be staggering, defense industry experts told AFP.

"If 1,000 Stingers and 1,000 Javelins get shipped to Eastern Europe each month for the next year, which is not unlikely given the current pace, in our view, we think it would equate to $1 billion to $2 billion in revenue for both program manufacturers, which is material," said Colin Scarola of CFRA, an investment research firm.

Raytheon's and Lockheed's revenue figures last year dwarf that amount, however: $64 billion and $67 billion, respectively.

"Raytheon probably made more money off selling a Patriot missile system to Saudi Arabia than they will from making Stinger missiles," said Jordan Cohen, an arms sales specialist at the Cato Institute.

"They're only going to put so much effort into producing those weapons that are not that valuable," Cohen told AFP.

Lockheed, Raytheon and another arms manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, did not respond to AFP requests for comment.

General Dynamics said it has not raised its financial outlook since January, while Boeing just said it is up to governments to decide how to spend money earmarked for defense.

Riaz Haq said...

Should India insist on large warships after sinking of Russia’s Moskva?

Moskva rests at the bottom of the Black Sea and its loss could animate India’s maritime debate involving large naval ships. But the warning sign that must hang over it, is that its relevance to the Indian context can be different.

The loss of a key surface naval asset to cruise missiles provides fodder to buttress some arguments in an ongoing global debate within maritime powers. The debate is an offshoot of a larger debate on the survivability of large platforms like aircraft carriers due to their vulnerability to precision-guided munitions like cruise missiles. It is a debate that is particularly relevant to India and one that continues to animate the Indian Navy’s insistence on the continued relevance of the aircraft carrier.

Technological advancements in surveillance capabilities that are networked with missiles based on air, land, and sea platforms have certainly increased the vulnerability of surface naval assets. Accuracy is significantly improved by using a combination of Global Positioning Signals (GPS), laser guidance and inertial navigation systems. Simultaneously, the development of countermeasures also reduces the vulnerability factor. It is a cat-and-mouse game in technology development that mostly tends to favour the attacker over the defender. The obvious route for the attacker is to overwhelm the defender’s ability by firing a large number of missiles simultaneously on the same target. Also, the pace of development and cost of missiles that can penetrate the defender’s missile shield is quicker and cheaper than developing and fielding missile defences.

Riaz Haq said...

Turkey’s Electronic Warfare (Koral) Capabilities: The Invisible Power Behind its UACVs

Video captures by Turkey’s Ministry of Defence proved that Ankara was able to identify, locate, monitor, follow and target several Russian-made ADSs, including the Pantsir, without fear of being hit. One video which went viral on social media showed that the Turkish drones targeted and destroyed the Pantsir, even though its radar was active and combat-ready. Considering the close-up nature of the video and the large size of the TB2, it is highly likely that the KORAL managed to blind the Russian radar. During the operations, the TSK successfully destroyed eight Pantsir ADS units.

In Libya, Ankara’s intervention in favour of the UN-recognised government and against Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) – which has been supported by a host of countries including the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France and Russia – turned the tide of the war. Turkey’s deployment of the KORAL alongside its TB2s dramatically changed the equation on the ground.

The KORAL disrupted the LNA’s Chinese-made Wing Loong drones supplied by the UAE, and established local aerial superiority for Turkey’s UACVs by rendering the LNA’s ADSs useless (including S-125, SA-6 and Pantsir S-1 systems). Furthermore, it enabled the lethal and precise targeting of Haftar’s military bases, supply lines, military equipment, fortified positions and ground targets. Clash Report claimed that Turkey destroyed at least 15 Pantsir systems in Libya. Once again, in at least one case, a video recording showed a Pantsir’s radar active and hopelessly looking for a threat to engage with, before being hit and destroyed by Ankara’s state-of-the-art drone, the TB2.

During the 44-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia last year, the KORAL demonstrated its critical capacity on a broader scale. The Turkish-made EWS prepared the ground for a swift and decisive Azeri victory. The KORAL reportedly reduced the formidable Russian-made Armenian formations of ground-based ADSs to junk, enabling the Azeri forces to wipe them out, and thus leaving the Armenian Army at the mercy of Azeri TB2s acquired from Turkey.

Riaz Haq said...

Turkey’s Electronic Warfare (Koral) Capabilities: The Invisible Power Behind its UACVs

Armenia lost around 256 tanks, 50 BMP vehicles, 40 OSA SAM systems, over 400 trucks, hundreds of artillery pieces, and other military equipment during the war. In an act of psychological and information warfare, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence released video recordings showing Armenian ADSs of all types (SA 8 Osa, SA 13 Strela 10, SA 15 Buk and even Russian-made S-300) being hit and destroyed by its forces. According to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, the Azeri military destroyed at least six S-300 missile systems using mainly Turkish and some Harop loitering munitions or Kamikaze drones.

To gain leverage over Azerbaijan, Yerevan acquired Russia’s Iskander ballistic missile and Repellent EWS in 2016 and 2017. Yet, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan discovered that these systems – worth tens of millions of dollars each – did not actually work, despite Moscow promoting them as advanced, complex and superior systems. Azerbaijan managed to disable and/or destroy many of these systems along with Armenia’s ADSs. In one documented case, an Armenian ADS is seen executing a series of unsuccessful attempts to launch missiles against an aerial target due to the powerful suppression targeting of the KORAL.

In November 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the KORAL. Confirming the EWS’s critical role in Ankara’s latest battles, he revealed that his country is working on a new, more advanced version of the KORAL. Under the leadership of the Presidency of Defence Industries, ASELSAN has been working on a new generation of KORAL with advanced capabilities, the Kara SOJ-2. More recently, the TSK added the new highly capable SANCAK EWS to its inventory.

These new developments mean that Ankara is now open to exporting the KORAL. Several news platforms claimed that Ankara signed a $50.7 million contract to sell the KORAL EWS to Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces. Last August, a report indicated that the Royal Army of Oman was mulling the possibility of buying the Turkish-made EWS. At the end of that month, Iraq’s Defence Minister Jouma Saadoun reportedly expressed his country’s willingness to purchase Turkish-made military equipment, including TB2 UACVs, 12 T-129 ATAK helicopters and six KORAL EWSs.

Considering Ankara’s rising ambition to become a leader in robotic warfare systems and its relentless effort to add more unmanned offensive and defensive systems to the TSK’s inventory in the coming years, it will definitely focus on boosting its electronic warfare capabilities in the future.

Riaz Haq said...

Umair Aslam
The Pakistan Air Force showcased its latest defence procurements in a video released on the occasion of Pakistan's 75th Independence Day.

- Akinci UCAV 🇹🇷
- Bayraktar TB2 UCAV 🇹🇷
- HQ-9B
- TPS-77 MMR
- J-10CE

Riaz Haq said...

Headache For India, Pakistan Flaunts ‘Much Superior’ Turkish Akinci Combat UAVs In Promotional Video
Tanmay Kadam
October 24, 2022

Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF’s) Public Relations Department recently released a video featuring various aircraft and weapon systems within the PAF’s fleet, including the Turkish-made Akinci combat drone.

The video by the PAF was released on October 19, when Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi visited the Air Headquarters, Islamabad as a chief guest to attend the inaugural ceremony of the two-day flagship international seminar titled ‘Global Strategic Threat and Response’ (GSTAR) arranged by Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS).

The video lasts for three minutes and twenty-one seconds. After two minutes and twenty-one seconds, a PAF Squadron Leader, reportedly wearing an Akinci patch, can inspect the Akinci drone armed with light glide bombs.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Getting Bayraktar TB2 Drones Into Its Air Defense Network; Aims To Promote “Synergy” In Counter-Air Ops

Pakistan Air Force is reportedly incorporating its newly acquired drones, including Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aircraft, within the nation’s air defense network.

According to Janes, the Southern Air Command of the PAF is integrating these newly acquired unmanned aerial vehicles into its air defense network. On September 28, Pakistan first showed off its Bayraktar TB2, a medium altitude long endurance (MALE), during an Air Force drill.

In March of this year, it was initially reported that Pakistan had acquired the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone to conduct assault and ISR operations. The number of drones delivered to Islamabad has not been made public by either side.

In late May, satellite images revealed the presence of one Bayraktar TB2 at PAF’s Murid Airbase. The exercise on September 28 was the first official documented usage of Pakistan’s Bayraktar TB2s.

According to a statement released by the PAF on September 28, the purpose of an operational air defense exercise was to promote “synergy” in counter-air operations. The PAF released a video of the drill, which featured two TB2s and at least three Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems Falco UAVs.

The PAF Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, also reportedly visited an undisclosed operational airbase to evaluate how newly acquired UAS were incorporated into the PAF’s operational framework.

Pakistan is also believed to be acquiring the Akinci drone, “Raider,” in Turkish. The Akinci is a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV built as a successor to Turkey’s military’s primary tactical UAV, the TB2 Bayraktar.

Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of Baykar Technology, recently declared that his company would not sell drones to Pakistan’s fiercest adversary, India. He contended that providing weapons to both sides violates their company’s value that forbids “war profiteering.”

These advanced drones, which have demonstrated their effectiveness in Ukraine against the Russian forces, will provide Pakistan with a competitive advantage in the region.

The Turkish TB2 Drone
The Bayraktar TB2 is an unmanned combat aerial vehicle with a medium altitude and long endurance that can be remotely controlled.

Bayraktar’s astonishing performance over one of the world’s most powerful armies – Russia, has captured the world’s imagination. As a result, the demand for this drone has increased dramatically in the global market.

Earlier, Haluk Bayraktar revealed that his company had a three-year backlog of orders and could make roughly 20 Bayraktar TB2s per month. In addition, the Turkish firm has agreements to supply advanced Akinci drones to four nations, including Azerbaijan.

The monocoque design of the Bayraktar TB2 has an inverse v-tail structure. While the connection segments are precisely CNC-machined aluminum components, the fuselage comprises carbon fiber, Kevlar, and hybrid composite materials.

The engine is situated midway between the tail booms, and bladder tanks hold the fuel. The UAV is 6.5 meters long, has a wing span of 12 meters, and can carry 650 kilograms during takeoff.

The UAV is equipped with a triple redundant avionics system. An onboard avionics suite includes devices such as a microprocessor, engine control, servo motor power control, engine signal processing, I/O, and GPS receivers.

The sensor turret on Bayraktar has a laser designator, a night vision system, and an electro-optical camera. The drone’s laser designator can be pointed at a target once the operators have decided where to launch up to four Rocketsan MAM-C micro munitions.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Getting Bayraktar TB2 Drones Into Its Air Defense Network; Aims To Promote “Synergy” In Counter-Air Ops

The small, laser-guided glide bombs include thermobaric, high-explosive blast fragmentation, and armor-penetrating warheads. Although MAM-Cs are small, weighing only 48 pounds each, the operators can deploy them precisely where they want them, enhancing their efficacy.

The Bayraktar TB2 UAV is controlled by a ground control station placed on a NATO-spec ACE-III mobile shelter unit. The module incorporates consoles for the payload operator, the pilot, and the image exploitation.

The ground control station is provisioned with rack cabinets, an NBC filtration system, power supply units, wireless systems, an air conditioning unit, and internal communication systems.

The powertrain has a 100hp internal combustion engine driving a two-bladed variable pitch propeller. The tactical UAV can reach more than 150 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 27,030 feet.

Riaz Haq said...

Turkey has unveiled its indigenously developed AESA radar that will be integrated into the F-16 fighter jets, among other manned and unmanned aircraft in the Turkish Air Force.

The spokesperson for President Tayyip Erdogan recently announced that the process of the United States authorizing the sale of F-16 fighter jets to NATO member Turkey is progressing and could be completed in upcoming months.

However, Turkey seems to have taken upon itself the responsibility to upgrade its F-16 fleet with domestically built radars.

The president of Defense Industries, Ismail Demir, unveiled the new Aselsan AESA radar on November 10 and stated that the Turkish Air Force’s (TuAF) Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, the Akinci unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), as well as the upcoming Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft, will be retrofitted with the system.

“It is a radar project equivalent to the most advanced radars in the world at the moment,” Demir said at the event. While the F-16s have been in the Turkish fleet for decades, the delivery of Akinci UAV twin-engined UAV is just getting started. The TF-X/MMU is Turkey’s next-generation combat aircraft currently under development.

In March this year, a local Turkish portal informed that the F-16 active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar prototype developed by Aseslan was expected to be delivered by the end of this year. The report could not be corroborated at the time.

According to some sources, the development and integration of the AESA radar on the F-16 are one of the many upgrades in the modernization program undertaken by Turkey.

The single-seat C and twin-seat D variants of the F-16 are the cornerstones of the TuAF’s front-line combat aviation force. The domestic industry has conducted much of the upgrades on these fighters.

The need to upgrade the F-16 fighters becomes all the more important due to the growing might of the Hellenic Air Force with its acquisition of advanced fighter jets. Turkey remains locked in tensions with its Aegean Sea rival Greece, with the possibility of a spillover never being ruled out.


The RBE2 radar allows high levels of situational awareness with early detection and tracking of multiple targets, thus denying an aerial advantage to the enemy.

Speaking on a CNN Türk show, military editor and analyst Özay Şendir admitted that Greece is gaining a significant advantage with its new fighters.

Besides operating the advanced 4+ gen Rafales, Greece could also acquire the F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jets. It is only evident that Ankara is looking to add more teeth to its existing fighter fleet.

In June this year, the US Air Force and Northrop Grumman announced the conclusion of a significant modernization project that installed powerful new AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array radars on 72 Air National Guard Block 30 F-16C Viper fighter jets.

At the time, it was informed these AESA radars, known as Scalable Agile Beam Radars or SABRs, were being ordered for hundreds more Air Force F-16s and other Vipers around the globe.

Announcing the breakthrough, Northrop Grumman’s Mark Rossi said, “It’s the closest thing an F-16 can get to F-35 performance within the limitations of the jet.”

Any AESA would be a significant improvement for Air Force F-16C/Ds and other Vipers around the world.

In general, AESA radars provide substantial advantages regarding target acquisition speed, the range at which threats and potential threats can be detected, and the precision and fidelity of the ensuing tracks, especially for smaller objects. They are significantly more reliable, resulting in more “up time” and better jamming resistance.

AESA radars are produced indigenously only by a handful of countries, and now, Turkey has joined the elite club. With the US sale still uncertain, Turkey seems alive to its challenges and is consistently taking upgrades to face the ensuing Greek threat.

Riaz Haq said...

The Turkish Drone That Changed the Nature of Warfare

The TB2 has now carried out more than eight hundred strikes, in conflicts from North Africa to the Caucasus. The bombs it carries can adjust their trajectories in midair, and are so accurate that they can be delivered into an infantry trench. Military analysts had previously assumed that slow, low-flying drones would be of little use in conventional combat, but the TB2 can take out the anti-aircraft systems that are designed to destroy it. “This enabled a fairly significant operational revolution in how wars are being fought right now,” Rich Outzen, a former State Department specialist on Turkey, told me. “This probably happens once every thirty or forty years.”

Much of the drones’ battlefield experience has come against Russian equipment. Russia and Turkey have a complicated relationship: Russia is a key trading partner for Turkey, Turkey is a popular holiday destination for Russian tourists, and Russia is overseeing the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which, when completed, will supply a tenth of the country’s electricity. In 2017, Turkey angered its allies in natowhen it bought a Russian missile system, triggering U.S. sanctions. Still, both Turkey and Russia are seeking to restore their standings as world powers, and even before the war in Ukraine they were often in conflict.

In the Libyan civil war, Turkey and Russia backed opposing factions, and the TB2 faced off against Russia’s Pantsir-S1, an anti-aircraft system that shoots missiles at planes and can be mounted on a vehicle. At least nine Pantsirs were destroyed; so were at least twelve drones.

Another theatre opened in the Caucasus in 2020, when Azerbaijan attacked the ethnic-Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Last month, I met Robert Avetisyan, the Armenian representative to the United States from Nagorno-Karabakh, at a café in Glendale, California. Avetisyan told me, “During the first several days, Azerbaijan was not successful, in anything, until the Turkish generals took the joysticks.” Armenia has a security alliance with Russia, which provides most of its military equipment, some dating to the Soviet era. For six weeks, TB2 drones bombarded that equipment relentlessly; one independent analysis tallied more than five hundred targets destroyed, including tanks, artillery, and missile-defense systems. “We lost the air war,” Avetisyan said. TB2s also targeted Armenian troops, and footage of these strikes was shared by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense. A six-minute compilation of the videos, posted to YouTube midway through the war, shows dozens of variations on the same scene: Armenian soldiers, cowering in trenches or huddled around transport trucks, alerted to their impending death by the hiss of an incoming bomb before a blast sends their bodies hurtling through the air.

Riaz Haq said...

#Ukraine strikes #Russian air bases again with #drones, exposing #Russia's #air #defense vulnerability. Experts say it doesn't bode well for Russians' war fighting capability against #US, #NATO #drone

A drone strike attributed to Ukraine rocked an airfield inside Russia on Tuesday, demonstrating once again Ukraine’s ability to reach into Russian territory one day after its forces struck two other air bases hundreds of miles inside Russia.

The attacks have revealed major vulnerabilities in Russia’s air defenses and sent a signal to Moscow that its strategic assets far from the active combat zone are not off limits to the emboldened Ukrainian military.

Officials in the Russian city of Kursk, just north of Ukraine, said the Tuesday drone attack set an oil storage tank ablaze at an airfield.

The two airfields struck by drones on Monday — the Engels-2 base in the Saratov region and the Dyagilevo base in Ryazan, a few hours’ drive from Moscow — are home to jet bombers that can carry conventional missiles used to target Ukrainian infrastructure but can also carry nuclear weapons and normally serve as an important component of Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

Ukraine did not officially claim responsibility for the attacks and has been deliberately cryptic about its role in several explosions at strategically important Russian military sites in recent months.

But a senior Ukrainian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that all three attacks were carried out by Ukrainian drones.

“These were Ukrainian drones — very successful, very effective,” the official said of the strikes. The official added that the Russians have “sowed the seeds of anger, and they’ll reap the whirlwind.”

The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the Monday attacks on Kyiv but said the damage done was minimal.

Riaz Haq said...

The Future of War Has Come in Ukraine: Drone Swarms

By Eric Schmidt

The innovations that have led to Kyiv’s remarkable successes against Russia will change combat dramatically.

Kramatorsk, Ukraine

My most recent trip to Ukraine revealed a burgeoning military reality: The future of war will be dictated and waged by drones.

Amid a front line covering 600 miles, the Ukrainian counteroffensive faces a formidable Russian force, as it tries to break through to the Azov Sea and stop the Russian overland supply line to Crimea. Between the two armies, there are at least 3 miles of heavily mined territory followed by rows of concrete antitank obstacles, with artillery pieces hidden in nearby forests. The Russian military has amassed so much artillery and ammunition that it can afford to fire 50,000 rounds a day—an order of magnitude more than Ukraine.

Traditional military doctrine suggests that an advancing force should have air superiority and a 3-to-1 advantage in soldiers to make steady progress against a dug-in opponent. Ukrainians have neither. That they’ve succeeded anyway is owing to their ability to adopt and adapt new technologies such as drones.

Drones extend the Ukrainian infantry’s limited reach. Reconnaissance drones keep soldiers safe, constantly monitoring Russian attacks and providing feedback to correct artillery targeting. During the daytime, they fly over enemy lines to identify targets; at night, they return with payloads.

Unfortunately, Russia has picked up these tactics, too. Behind the initial minefields and trenches blocking Kyiv’s advance, there’s a more heavily defended line. If courageous Ukrainians make it there, Russian soldiers will send in drones and artillery. All the while Russia’s army—which excels at jamming and GPS spoofing—is working to take out Ukrainian drones. A May report from the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies estimated that Ukraine was losing as many as 10,000 a month even before the start of the counteroffensive.

Yet Ukraine has continually out-innovated the enemy. Its latest drone models can prevent jamming, operate without GPS guidance and drop guided bombs on moving targets. Ukrainian command centers use personal computers and open-source software to classify targets and execute operations.

Ukraine has also pioneered a more effective model of decentralized military operations that makes its tech use varied and quickly evolving. In the war’s early stages, Ukraine’s government put the new Digital Ministry in charge of drone procurement but left important decision making to smaller units. While the ministry sets standards and purchases drones, the brigades are empowered to choose and operate them. Ten programmers can change the way thousands of soldiers operate. One brigade I visited independently designed its own multilayered visual planning system, which coordinates units’ actions.

To win this war, Ukraine needs to rethink 100 years of traditional military tactics focused on trenches, mortars and artillery. But the innovations it and Russia make will carry on far beyond this particular conflict.

Perhaps the most important is the kamikaze drone. Deployed in volume, this first-person-view drone—invented for the sport of drone racing—is cheaper than a mortar round and more accurate than artillery fire. Kamikaze drones cost around $400 and can carry up to 3 pounds of explosives. In the hands of a skilled operator with several months of training, these drones fly so fast they are nearly impossible to shoot down.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian view of Pakistan Navy Modernization

by Guarav Sen

Pakistan has been proactively procuring technologically advanced naval vessels from China, headlined by a $5 billion deal signed in 2016 for Pakistan to acquire Yuan class Type 039/041 diesel submarines by 2028. Pakistan is all set to acquire eight such submarines from China, with four of them scheduled for delivery by the end of 2023. The first four subs are being built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation; the other four will be built in Pakistan by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, further bolstering Pakistan’s indigenous capabilities.

These submarines are equipped with advanced sensors and modern armaments, which tilts the tactical power balance slightly in favor of Pakistan. These diesel attack submarines align with the Pakistan Navy’s offensive sea denial strategy, which prioritizes the use of submarines and missile-carrying maritime patrol aircraft in naval warfare.

Apart from this, Pakistan is also expanding its surface fleet. It has commissioned Zulfiqar-class frigates, based on China’s Type 053H3 vessels, which serve multiple roles, including anti-submarine warfare. It carries YJ-82 missiles for anti-surface warfare and FM-90N short-range surface-to-air missiles for self-defense.

In January 2022, the Pakistan Navy commissioned its most advanced vessel, the guided missile frigate Tughril. The Tughril is the first of four powerful Type 054A/P frigates being built in Shanghai for the Pakistan Navy. The vessel is armed with surface-to-air missiles and supersonic surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs), is a versatile warship capable of undertaking multiple missions. The second such vessel, the Taimur, was commissioned in June 2022.

While the Tughril-class frigates represent a significant addition to Pakistan’s surface fleet, they do not pose a credible deterrent against the Indian Navy’s superior capabilities and numerical advantage. But still, India needs to monitor Pakistan’s shift toward power projection in the IOR. The addition of these advanced frigates enhances the Pakistan Navy’s capability to operate in distant waters, which is demonstrated by its ability to conduct joint drills with China’s navy in the East China Sea this year.

Besides China, Turkey is also playing a key role in stretching and modernizing Pakistan’s naval fleet. In 2018, Pakistan and Turkey signed a contract for the construction of four Milgem-class corvettes based on the design of Turkish Ada-class ships. Under the deal, Turkey will deliver four ships to Pakistan by February 2025.

Pakistan’s continued induction of higher-tonnage surface vessels reflects its ambition to enhance power projection in the region. The concerns for India lie not only in the naval imbalance but also in Pakistan’s first-ever maritime doctrine, “Preserving Freedom of Seas.”

Pakistan’s maritime strategy has evolved from an offensive sea denial approach to one focused on a sustained presence in the IOR. The Chinese-made J-10 fighter, which is part of China’s naval arm, can be used by the Pakistan Navy to carry out maritime operations in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The warplane can carry anti-ship missiles, which could enable the Pakistan Navy to play a more responsive role in the Indian Ocean.


Presently, Pakistan cannot come close to matching the maritime power of its archrival India, but the continued push for modernization and renewed strategic cooperation with China and Turkey could change the status quo by transforming Pakistan into a genuine regional naval power. A strong Pakistan Navy equipped with advanced frigates and other weapons is part of Beijing’s grand plan to ensure the security of Chinese oil imports coming from the Persian Gulf and attain control of the sea lanes traversing the Indian Ocean.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani official eyes cooperation with Türkiye on UAVs, advanced fighters

Saying that the defense industries of Türkiye and Pakistan have been working together for more than two decades, the Pakistani secretary for defense production added that the two countries will consolidate their work and look ahead to new fields, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and advanced fighters.

Turkish-Pakistani relations have expanded "exponentially" over the last decade, Humayun Aziz told Anadolu Agency (AA).

He stressed that Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Pakistani Karachi Shipyard, and Turkish defense firm STM have established ties.

Karachi Shipyard and STM are building Milgem Plus warships in Pakistan, and the two countries will work on submarines as well, he underlined during the 16th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul, Türkiye's commercial capital.

He added that new frontiers include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and advanced fighters, "because we are already progressing a lot in submarine and ship-building."

Türkiye and Pakistan are also cooperating militarily in regard to small arms and other projects, he noted.

Working on new capabilities
On the technological aspect, the two countries have a good understanding and are working on certain advanced designs, Aziz said.

He said, "The defense industry is actively cooperating with us for work on new design capabilities which also includes artificial intelligence and new techniques."

On the current IDEF defense fair, which runs through Friday, Aziz said the event is growing in strength.

"Our relations are continuous, but definitely these exhibitions provide us with an opportunity to assess a lot of products on one platform in one day," he highlighted.

He said many people visited Pakistan's pavilion at the event, adding, "We have some tremendous missile, aircraft, (and) unmanned combat vehicle technology capabilities. So I see a lot of interest from people in things we are presenting."

Riaz Haq said...

Perspectives: Pakistan and India wage proxy struggle in Nagorno-Karabakh

In providing arms to Armenia and Azerbaijan, New Delhi and Islamabad both believe they are defending respective strategic interests.
Svenja Petersen Aug 17, 2023

The India-Pakistan rivalry is most closely associated with the simmering conflict in Kashmir. Less known is the two countries’ deepening involvement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Karabakh is emerging as an extension of the Kashmir conflict for the South Asian rivals, with both now supplying arms to the principal combatants – Armenia and Azerbaijan. While Pakistan has been siding with Azerbaijan since the outbreak of the First Karabakh War in the early 1990s, India entered the picture as an arms purveyor to Armenia only after Yerevan’s crushing defeat in the Second Karabakh War in 2020.

Pakistani support for Azerbaijan is intertwined with Islamabad’s close strategic relationship with Turkey, Baku’s primary patron. The Pakistani government was second after Turkey in recognizing Azerbaijan’s independence following the Soviet collapse in 1991, and Islamabad has never acknowledged Armenia’s independence. The Pakistani and Azerbaijani militaries have reportedly been conducting joint exercises since 2016 and maintain extensive strategic security contacts. Although officially unconfirmed, Pakistani military advisers reportedlyparticipated in the Second Karabakh War, providing tactical advice on operations in Karabakh’s highlands. Some observers believe Islamabad may sell Pakistani- and Chinese-designed JF-17 fighter jets to Azerbaijan.

India’s support for Armenia shifted into high gear in the fall of 2022 with the provision of $245 million worth of Indian artillery systems, anti-tank rockets and ammunition. In May, Yerevan announced it was adding a military attaché to its embassy in New Delhi, tasked with deepening bilateral military cooperation.

Increased Indian support may prove crucial for Armenia as it strives to counter Azerbaijan’s strategic pressure in Karabakh. Yerevan’s traditional strategic partner, Russia, is bogged down by its disastrous invasion of Ukraine, and now appears to lack the resources and the will to play a major role in fostering a durable Karabakh settlement. The hope in Yerevan is that Indian assistance can help Armenia offset the support that Azerbaijan receives from Turkey, Pakistan and Israel.

Pakistan’s involvement in the Karabakh conflict is helping cement an Ankara-Baku-Islamabad alliance, informally dubbed the “Three Brothers.” The three states are all nominally democracies that have drifted to varying degrees from a pluralistic path, and which likewise have predominantly Muslim populations. The fact that all three are engaged in territorial/ethnic conflicts also acts as a binding agent, encouraging them to assist each other strategically and diplomatically. Reports circulated in early August that Pakistan may soon join Azerbaijan as a partner in a Turkish-led effort to develop a new-generation stealth fighter, dubbed Kaan.

India’s decision to get involved in the Karabakh conflict is driven by two factors – one strategic, the other economic; the country’s own complicated history with Islam also plays a role. Azerbaijan’s victory in 2020 set off alarms in New Delhi by upending what New Delhi perceived to be a geostrategic balance in the Caucasus. Wary of rising Turkish-Muslim influence there, Indian leaders felt they had to step up cooperation with Armenia, which they hope can once again act as a countervailing regional force. This tendency to side with a non-Muslim party of a local conflict is also seen in India’s support for Israel, Serbia and Myanmar.