BAKU, (BM) – As part of the military-technical cooperation between Baku and Moscow, a group of specialists of the Azerbaijani Air Force visited earlier in Russia the enterprises of the military-industrial complex for the production of Su-35 and MiG-35 aircraft, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The delegation was informed about the tactical and technical characteristics, combat effectiveness, weapons, production, operation and maintenance of military vehicles. Azerbaijani pilots performed practical flights on the MiG-35.
During meetings with the leadership of the military factories and representatives of Rosoboronexport, it was stated that Azerbaijan was interested in acquiring the most advanced Russian-made fighters. In turn, the Russian side expressed its readiness to supply aircraft in quantities that meet the needs of Azerbaijani aviation.
Today, the air forces of the largest Transcaucasian republic are armed with more than 40 attack aircraft and helicopters, which are hardly modern, Khrolenko notes. Earlier, Baku purchased a batch of Pakistani-made JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters (at a price of about $ 25 million per unit).
Light JF-17 – the result of the modernization of the Chinese J-7, and the continuation of the Soviet MiG-21. The aircraft is capable of hitting air targets at ranges of up to 100 kilometers, but it has insufficient thrust-weight ratio (just one engine developing 8300 kgf afterburner), and can carry a combat load of up to 3.5 tons.
For comparison, the Su-35 is capable of raising 8 tons of ammunition (thrust – 14,500 kgf). Perhaps Pakistani machines are designed to train Azerbaijani military pilots, as well as Italian-made Leonardo M-346 Master training aircraft acquired earlier.
Azerbaijan’s defense budget in 2020 reached $ 2.3 billion, and allows you to purchase the most advanced weapons systems. It remains to make the right choice, the author concludes.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan’s plans to upgrade its fleet with modern Russian-made combat vehicles can be considered a definite response to the purchase of Su-30SM multipurpose fighters already carried out by Armenia. The first “thirty” arrived in Yerevan at the end of last year.
It can also be recalled that Armenia, as a member state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the impressive sales of Russian and Belarusian strike weapons to Azerbaijan.
As indicated in Yerevan, supplying Baku with offensive systems, Moscow and Minsk do not always take into account the interests of their Armenian CSTO ally, and excessive arms supplies to the Azerbaijani side can upset the balance of forces in the Karabakh conflict zone.
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