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Why Akash Air Defense System could prove game changer for Armenia against Azerbaijani TB2 Drones and Sino-Pak JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets

Source : IgMp Bureau

Why Akash Air Defense System could prove game changer for Armenia against Azerbaijani TB2 Drones and Sino-Pak JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets
Akash Weapon system passes through the Rajpath, at the 70th Republic Day Celebrations, in New Delhi on January 26, 2019.

The recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan shed light on the critical role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), notably the Turkish Bayraktar TB2, in modern warfare. Armenia’s struggle against these drones has sparked renewed interest in air defense systems capable of effectively countering such threats. Here’s how India’s Akash Air Defense System could potentially tilt the scales for Armenia.

The TB2 drone emerged as a formidable weapon, especially in Azerbaijan’s arsenal during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. Its precision strikes and reconnaissance capabilities posed significant challenges for Armenian defenses, necessitating a robust countermeasure.

Developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Akash air defense system offers several features that could prove highly effective against TB2 drones. Unlike many long-range systems, Akash excels in engaging targets within shorter ranges, precisely from 200 meters to 20 kilometers, a critical range for countering low-altitude drones like the TB2.

Akash is designed to neutralize a range of aerial threats, including UAVs, fighter jets, helicopters, and cruise missiles. Its advanced tracking and targeting capabilities enable it to detect and engage multiple targets simultaneously, a crucial advantage in countering drone swarms common in modern warfare scenarios.

Recent reports from the Ukraine conflict indicate challenges faced by TB2 drones, with Ukrainian forces employing counter-drone tactics and existing air defense systems to down over 100 TB2s. This underscores the vulnerability of drones when confronted with robust air defenses.

Akash Missile System 1200x750 1
Akash Air Defence System Radars and Sensors (Image Credit : Bharat Electronics Limited )

The Sino-Pak JF-17 Thunder, a 4th Generation fighter jet with a significant radar cross-section, can be effectively tracked by Akash’s powerful radar and sensor packs. While the Akash SAM’s specific capability against intercepting fighter jets remains undisclosed, its potential to engage multiple fighter-sized targets simultaneously positions it as a formidable short-range air defense system for Armenia against Azerbaijan.

Despite its capabilities, integrating Akash into Armenia’s existing infrastructure may pose initial challenges. However, its effectiveness can be enhanced by incorporating it into a layered air defense network alongside other systems covering various threat ranges.

India’s delivery of the Akash 1S Air Defence system to Armenia, equipped with an integrated seeker for precise targeting, signifies a significant advancement. This modern system surpasses Armenia’s predominantly obsolete Soviet-era air defense systems, offering superior capabilities against evolving threats.

The Akash Air Defense System stands poised to play a pivotal role in Armenia’s defense against TB2 drones and Sino-Pak JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. As India commences deliveries of advanced systems to Armenia, the strategic balance in the region may undergo a notable shift, reinforcing Armenia’s defense capabilities against emerging threats.

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