SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region included the heavy use of missiles, drones, While Armenia only fought with tanks, artillery, and air defense systems, Azerbaijan relied heavily on drones, specifically the Turkish-made B2 Bayraktar drones and many defense officials believed that Azerbaijan’s use of cheaper Turkish drones in the six-week autumn war was crucial in defeating the Armenians.
The use of Armed drones in the Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict has opened up a new chapter for the use of aerial weapons on tactical battlefields and came as a major boost to the Drone manufacturers whose sales skyrocketed as more countries lined up to procure armed drones like B2 Bayraktar and loitering drones, but the swift invasion of the Russian forces in Ukraine in less then 24 hours also shows why Drone warfare won’t work in every conflict when it is faced with Superior Conventional firepower.
According to various Russian-backed media outlets, figures ranging from 4 to 9 Turkish-made B2 Bayraktar drones have been shot down in a single day by the Russian forces over Ukraine or in border areas, and many airbases which hosted them can’t use them as airstrips have suffered major damages. Russian forces effectively used their superior air defense system in neutralizing so-called Game Changer Drone warfare capabilities and nearly brought down 50% of the B2 Bayraktar fleet of Ukraine on the first day of war itself shows that Armed Drones are effective only in low-intensity conflicts with poor air defense system in place.
Russia also cemented the case for use of mass-scale usage of cruise missiles and tactical battlefield ballistic missiles to hit most of the airbases and key military facilities along with unguided rockets in the first wave of assault is a classic case of why superior conventional firepower can’t be challenged by armed drones and loitering weapon systems.
Indian Military pundits will be closely observing how tactical battlefield ballistic missiles played a crucial role and how well they were used effectively in targeting all key military facilities. It is believed nearly 300 9K720 Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missiles were fired in the last 24 hours all over its potential targets in Ukraine.
Lessons for India should be that it fast-track its mobile short-range ballistic missile programs and Inducts them in large numbers as it did with the supersonic Brahmos cruise missile. India also needs to speed up the creation of the Rocket force as suggested by the CDS Vipin Rawat and work towards the creation of a superior air defense system and Superior Conventional firepower that can decimate any country as India has adopted the Cold Start doctrine that calls for swift border intrusion.