|Tactical Airborne Platform for Aerial Surveillance-Beyond Horizon-201 or TAPAS BH-201 (Formerly Known as Rustom-II) is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being developed in India by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) on the lines of General Atomics MQ-1 Predator.
An Armenian defence delegation has visited India to explore the possibility of buying Indian-manufactured combat drones and other weapons.
As per a media report this week the delegation “came armed with a shopping list” when it met with Indian officials last month. Citing an unnamed official, it said that drones “figured prominently on the list.”
The online publication gave no other details of the talks. Nor did it say if any agreements were reached by the two sides.
Armenia’s Defence Ministry on Friday declined to comment on the reported visit of its representatives to India or its broader interest in Indian military hardware.
Visiting Yerevan earlier this month, a senior official from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said India and Armenia are discussing “long-term” military cooperation as part of their efforts to deepen their ties. The official, Sanjay Verma, spoke during a session of an Indian-Armenian intergovernmental commission on bilateral cooperation.
Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, who co-chaired the session with Verma, listed “defence and military-technical cooperation” among the areas that are “very promising for our countries.”
Mirzoyan held talks with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in April on the sidelines of an international conference held in India. It was their third face-to-face meeting in eight months. Jaishankar visited Armenia last October.
“India sees Armenia not only as a friend but a good counterweight to Turkey whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been particularly belligerent on the Kashmir issue and followed a number of policies inimical to India,” wrote dnaindia.com. It noted that India’s arch-foe Pakistan is allied to Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Pakistan strongly supported Azerbaijan during the 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijani war over Nagorno-Karabakh.
By contrast, India has backed Karabakh peace efforts spearheaded by the United States, Russia and France. It has backed Armenia in an Armenian-Azerbaijani border dispute that broke out in May 2021. In a statement issued at the time, the Indian foreign ministry called on Baku to “pull back forces immediately and cease any further provocation.”