Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkish Bayraktar drone vs. Russian Osa anti-aircraft system [video]

BAKU, (BM) – The armed forces of Azerbaijan have published recordings which show that at least several Osa anti-aircraft systems belonging to the Armenian army were destroyed during the recent fighting, learned citing Defence 24.

Read more: 24/7 – All about Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The recordings show the destruction of at least a few wasp-type AA systems. As a rule, they are stationary, at previously prepared combat positions, and have radars for detecting and tracking air targets. The Azeri army reported the destruction of as many as twelve Os, but these reports are difficult to verify.

Osa anti-aircraft systems have long been used in combat in Nagorno-Karabakh. Both during the recent intensification of the fighting and earlier, the Armenian side was to use them to destroy unmanned aerial vehicles used by the Azerbaijani side. This time, however, the Osy themselves fell victim to the Azeri aviation. Aviation expert Babak Taghavee claims that Bayraktar TB2 drones were used to destroy these sets.

Drones of this type have already been used in combat – in Syria and Libya, where they fought other, more advanced Russian Pancyr-S1 anti-aircraft systems. A few months ago, plans to acquire such machines, classified as medium-range tactical and capable of carrying UMTAS air-to-ground anti-tank missiles and MAM-L ammunition, were announced a few months ago.

Experience from Nagorno-Karabakh and other armed conflicts over recent months and years prove that, under the right conditions, UAS can pose a serious threat to land units, even if the latter have some air defense capabilities. A characteristic feature of drones is, among others the fact that they can be used with the assumption of incurring some losses and quickly replaced without the need for long-term repeated training of the staff, which cannot be said for manned airplanes.

Conclusions from the course of conflicts – of course, taking into account the full range of conditions, including terrain, the presence of fighter aviation, electronic warfare means, and finally – the threat from air defense should be analyzed and taken into account when shaping the destruction system of NATO countries, including Poland. It is also becoming increasingly important to protect land units against air attacks, not only with the use of air defense systems, but also the use of disruptive measures, and finally – appropriate tactics including masking (including multispectral) and frequent changes of positions.

As we reported earlier today [September 29 – ed.], the Deputy Commander of the Armenian Army Artsakh Artur Sargsyan said that the Azerbaijani military has suffered heavy losses in the last two days, which include at least 400 Azerbaijani soldiers killed.

According to Sargsyan, Armenian forces have so far destroyed 47 armored vehicles, mainly tanks and 36 military attack and surveillance drones.

“In the last two days of fighting, Azerbaijani troops have lost more than 400 people. As of 5:00 pm on September 28, the following enemy losses were registered: 36 UAVs, 47 armored vehicles, more than 400 casualties,” Sargsyan told a news conference.

Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalated again on September 27 after the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan issued a special press release stating that the forces of the Azerbaijani army are launching a counter-offensive operation on the entire Nagorno-Karabakh front.

“The troops of the Azerbaijani army have launched a counter-offensive operation on the entire front,” the republic’s defense ministry said.

The official opinion of the Ministry of Defense is that military actions of the Armenian military units are being observed and that is why the Azeris have taken actions to repel and suppress them.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR.

During the armed conflict in 1992-1994, the Azerbaijani side lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven areas adjacent to it. Since 1992, negotiations have been conducted within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group on a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is led by co-chairs – Russia, USA and France.

In 1994, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, through the mediation of Russia, signed the Bishkek Armistice Protocol. At the same time, military operations did not stop there, which periodically renewed.

The most significant exacerbation of the conflict was the four-day war of 2016. Then hundreds of soldiers on both sides became victims.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan last year, called for a rhetoric that would go against the fundamental principles endorsed by both sides and enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act when resolving the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh.

At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that much more needs to be done to achieve a long-term political settlement.


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