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The Previous conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan had highlighted the crucial role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), particularly the Turkish Bayraktar TB2, in modern warfare. Armenia’s struggle against these drones has reignited interest in air defense systems capable of effectively countering such threats. Here’s how India’s Akash Air Defense System could potentially be a game changer for Armenia.

The TB2 drone has proven to be a potent weapon, particularly in the hands of Azerbaijan during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. Its ability to deliver targeted strikes and conduct reconnaissance presented a significant challenge for Armenian defenses.

The Akash air defense system, developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), boasts several capabilities that could prove highly effective against the TB2 drones.  Unlike some long-range air defense systems, Akash excels in engaging targets at shorter ranges, specifically from 200 meters to 20 kilometers. This sweet spot is crucial for countering drones like the TB2, which typically operate at lower altitudes.

Akash is designed to effectively neutralize a variety of aerial threats, including UAVs. Its tracking and targeting radars can detect and lock onto small, slow-moving targets like drones. Akash can simultaneously engage multiple targets, a vital capability against drone swarms increasingly used in modern conflicts.

Recent reports suggest the TB2 drone has faced challenges in the Ukraine war. While it initially proved effective, Ukrainian forces have reportedly developed counter-drone tactics and employed existing air defense systems to bring down over 100 TB2s. This highlights the drone’s vulnerability when faced with robust air defenses.

While the Akash system appears well-suited to counter TB2 drones, some aspects require consideration. Integrating a new air defense system like Akash into Armenia’s existing infrastructure might pose some initial challenges. Akash’s effectiveness would be further amplified by integrating it into a layered air defense network with other systems covering different threat ranges.

India is likely to commence deliveries of the Akash 1S Air Defence system to Armenia that comes with a integrated Seeker instead of the Proximity fuse to take out its target which makes it far more advance then bulk of Armenia’s air defenses consisted of obsolete Soviet-era systems, like the 2K11 Krug, 9K33 Osa, 2K12 Kub, and 9K35 Strela-10.