The Armenian Air Force’s Su-30SM fighter could receive an unanticipated upgrade from India. Under the wings of the Su-30SM, the Astra air-to-air missile and the BrahMos air-launched air-to-surface missile can be carried.
Armenia’s Air Force consists of fourteen combat aircraft. There are ten Su-25Ks and four Su-30SMs. Moscow purchased the four aircraft, despite Yerevan’s initial desire to purchase three times as many.
A month of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 proved what the government had long denied: jets had been supplied from Moscow empty. This infuriated the Armenian population, who blamed the Defense Ministry and the government.
Yerevan made a mistake in the past by not paying Moscow to arm its fighter jets. During the initial stages of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan launched attacks on Armenian sites using Israeli Harop kamikaze drones and Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones. After the war ended, the Su-30SM earned the nickname “White Elephant.”
It appears like India is prepared to step in and help Armenia fix its faults. Recent years have strengthened the relationship between the two countries, as seen by the signing a military cooperation pact. It is believed that Yerevan will soon begin discussions to arm and upgrade its Su-35SM.
Russia can complete this order, but not at present. It has committed its entire military to the battle in Ukraine. Armenia stands to lose a lot if Russia drags its feet on this.
But India stays out of wars. It produces its missiles for its jets and copies the Su-30MKI design under a license from Russia. Armenia may learn a lot from India, whose air force is supported by more than 220 Su-30MKI fighters and has been around longer than any other air force in the world.
Among aircraft of its type, the Indian Flanker-E is among the most formidable in battle. New Delhi has poured a lot of money into the research and development of its armaments. Beautiful integration is what the Indians are calling the Su-30MKI’s new Astra and BrahMos missiles.
It is an indisputable fact that if Yerevan turns to New Delhi, Armenia will be able to modernize its fighters and significantly increase their combat capability. Indian sources say that the S-30SM will have increased lethality in this configuration. Especially now, when Yerevan cannot afford the purchase of new planes.
According to military experts, modernizing Armenia’s combat aircraft is preferable to purchasing new ones due to financial savings and the deterrence it provides against Azerbaijan. That is to say, if Washington were to spend money on new fighters, Baku would respond by bolstering its own fleet of aerial combat aircraft.
The Sino-Pakistani JF-17 could potentially one day be a supplier. Having a squadron of Chinese JF-17s loaded with PL-15 BVRAAMs would be terrible for Armenia.
The standard method in Armenia, which is a renewal, is therefore recommended. Adding the Astra and BrahMos missiles to the four Su-30SMs can be done swiftly and easily by Indian personnel. As a result, Yerevan can employ the Su-30SM to attack Azerbaijani targets at ranges beyond those where human eyes can see.
Armenia and India are in a place where the only thing that will help both of them is if they become friends. Even more so because Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan are doing military drills together.
In particular, Pakistan sells weapons to Azerbaijan, while Baku has given Islamabad geopolitical, geoeconomic, and geostrategic benefits.