New Discovery Links Downed Drone Parts to US Firm

The GPS splitter prototype reportedly part of the downed drone manufactured by the US-based GPS Source, Inc.

A new discovery Thursday linked an unmanned Azeri drone downed this week by Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Army to a US Defense company that manufactures signal distribution products. This raises new questions about potential violations of U.S. arms export laws.

Saying that Azeri Air Force activity has “visibly increased” along the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic-Azerbaijan border, the Karabakh Army announced Wednesday that it downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—a drone—early Monday morning saying it had violated Karabakh airspace.

A close review of a video of the drone wreckage released by the Karabakh Army revealed that the Pueblo West, Colorado-based GPS Source Inc., which manufactures and sells signal distribution products is the maker of a GPS splitter that was one of the components of the downed drone. The GPS splitter allows a single GPS antenna to be shared between multiple GPS receivers.

An earlier examination of the video revealed that the Canadian-based company, NovAtel, which has offices in Texas, is the manufacturer of the GPS antenna used on the drone.

The Armenian National Committee of America Wednesday called on the State Department to look into whether the use of the NovAtel-manufactured components warrants an investigation into potential violations of U.S. arms export laws. The discovery that parts manufactured by the US-based GPS Source raises renewed concern about possible violations of U.S. laws.

“…We are especially troubled by the prospect that Azerbaijan’s military escalation, threats of violence, and actual aggression may be, directly or indirectly, fueled by U.S. defense articles, in violation of U.S. law and in a manner contrary to the American people’s commitment to a peaceful settlement of conflicts in the Caucasus and around the world,” ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian told Hillary Clinton in a letter Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Azeri media outlets released a brief statement by the Defense Ministry denying any role in the drone flights.

“Azerbaijan has nothing to do with an unmanned aerial vehicle that crashed in Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian, through a spokesperson, told RFE/RL Thursday that the UAV reconnaissance flight constituted a serious violation of the cease-fire agreement.

“First of all, the [Azerbaijani] aggressor will now feel more restrained because the destruction of such military hardware also shows the extent of the technical sophistication of our army. That will certainly have a quite sobering impact on Baku’s behavior,” Sahakian’s press secretary, Davit Babayan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

Babayan said that the downed drone was positive proof of continued violations by Azerbaijan, calling on OSCE monitors to expand the scope of their ceasefire monitoring missions.

RFE/RL also suggested that the drones were a product of an Azeri-Israeli joint venture, under which a plant opened in March in Baku that assembles Israeli-designed drones for the Azeri armed forces. RFE/RL added that the Azeri military has also reportedly purchased such aircraft from Israel and Turkey.

According to Colonel Nikolay Babayan, commander of Armenia’s air-defense forces, Karabakh army units used special “radioelectronic” equipment to shoot down the spy plane, reported RFE/RL quoting

“It is very difficult to hit and even locate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) because they are made of special composite materials,” Babayan told on Wednesday. “But we managed to do that by using special devices.”

The official did not specify the type of anti-aircraft weapon that was reportedly used to down the UAV. He said only that Azeri drones regularly carry out reconnaissance flights near Karabakh.

“This time, the UAV violated the border, as a result of which its flight was ended by the joint work of our air-defense troops and radioelectronic forces,” added Babayan.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. JOHN said:

    all drone’s have a serial number which are registered by the owner in case of manufacturer recall.

  2. John Markarian said:

    If the Armenian oligarchs were true Armenians they would donate money for Armenia to improve it’s air defenses by purchasing air defense systems like the SA-11 (BUK-M3) and the SA-15 Tor missles systems . Both are more cheaper than the SA-10 )S-300 system that Armenia already has but they still are excellent systems that can destroy lower priority targets like drones , aircraft and cruise missles. What is sad is that Russia is benefiting from this because it wants to kill the Nabucco gas pipeline which is competing with the Northstream and Southstream Russian gas line projects.

  3. Nazim said:

    First, saying that these flights by Azerbaijan are illegal is ridiculous. Karabak is part of Azerbaijan, according to all internationa law and agreements (e.g., UN, etc). Of course, Armenians want it to change, but until and unless that changes, the law is on Azerbaijan’s side.

    Second, it is silly to try to gang up on a company whose part was used in a device sold by a third party. What, do you expect every bolt-seller try to track down not only what products they are put into, but what customer their own customer ends up selling a final product to? To me, you guys sound like a sour loser. Azerbaijan can afford such weaponry (it does not need Russian’ charitable donations of junk, whichis what ARmenians are getting).

    Third, shooting down these drone is no more tought than shooting down a kite. So don’t be too proud. Azerbaijan was not calculating Karabak to escalate things like this, which it has. And to be frank with you, I see Russian hands in this. One day EU declares interest in Azeri piplines, Russia is pissed off, and the next day an Azeri drone is shut done. If you recall, this is what also happend in Georgia right before the war. However, unlike Georgia, Azerbaijan is not a no-body. Turkey would never stand aside. And the West would not want to lose its oil money. Rusisa can do nothing.

    • Pongo said:

      We shall see if Russia can’t do nothing.
      By the way, the Armenian people have exercised their right of self-determination, exactly like Abkhazia, Kosovo and Souther Ossetia.
      Sooner or later EU will recognize Artsakh exactly like Kosovo.
      About the laws, these are always changed to the actual oppurtinity: look Lybia, last year Khaddafi allied of the West, and now chased like a mouse…

    • Avery said:


      First, these flights are illegal, because in 1994 upon the request of Azerbaijan, a ceasefire was signed between Azerbaijan and NKR. Read that again, the ceasefire was signed between NKR and Azerbaijan, not RoA and Azerbaijan. By the terms of the ceasefire, these incursions are illegal. If there was a hot war ongoing, you would have a point. But there is a legal ceasefire in place. All incursions are illegal. And, recognition or not, Artsakh is independent. Proof is that Artsakhsti govern themselves, not the Aliyev clan from Baku.

      Second: regarding “(it does not need Russian’ charitable donations of junk, whichis what ARmenians are getting)” . Artsakh’s Armenian warriors used the same type of Russian junk to chase your 5-to-1 numerically superior military out of Artsakh, all the way out.

      Third: right, shooting down a drone is no big deal. Something that flies at 30,000-50,000 feet, is barely visible, has practically no heat signature, is invisible to radar – is no big deal. Artsakh’s Armenian warriors who defeated the Azeri military that had a 5-to-1 advantage in everything – manpower, tanks, APCs, fighter/bomber jets, helicopter gunships, artillery, GRADs, ammunition – was also no big deal.

      Fourth: regarding “Turkey would never stand aside”. Turkey WILL stand aside.
      How do we know ? In 1993, when Azeris were on the ropes, and Armenians were defeating them one after another battle, Turkey massed an invasion army at the border of Armenia. Shortly thereafter, PM Tansu Penbe Çiller ordered her troops back into their barracks: do you know why ? do you know who said something about WW3 ? Hint: it wasn’t the USA or NATO.

    • Arsen said:

      I got news for you Nazim. While Azerbaijan can afford these weapons purely due to a natural resource that it’s lucky to have, Armenia is manufacturing its own weapons, which takes intelligence, not a slimy black liquid. You purchase your drones from Israel because you’re too stupid to make your own. Armenia makes its own drones, and this is not even a secret anymore. Charitable donations from Russia you say? Don’t get me started on the list of countries and organizations that support Azerbaijan. We are intelligent and trustworthy enough to be allies with Russia, we give them much more in return than money. We have friends, you have money. As any wise-man would say, I’d rather have a good real friend than money to temporarily buy one.

    • heyheyyea said:

      “Turkey would never stand aside. And the West would not want to lose its oil money. Rusisa can do nothing.” @Nazim didn’t Azerbaijan lose the war with Armenia? rofl the whole world had to plea for the Armenians not to finish it, you obviously know very little of whats going on and Turkey did and cannot do anything to Armenia, for realz yo

    • Kirk said:

      I don’t know what are you talking about.You have billions invested in your defence system and you can not even handle to fly a drone.Then,you are saying that Turkey would come to your help.
      Very defeatist and hopeless thoughts.
      Artsakh proved,that it’s army has the unique ability to bring down even an Azerbaijani fly in the space of Liberated Lands.
      You are a dreamer.

    • Harut said:

      Nazim i was reading your comments and i noticed your english is not bad.
      Look oxlum you come here and talk and talk at the end of the day have you ever asked your self why is it over 1 milion children in Azerbejan go to bed hungry everynight, pause for a minute and think
      i’m not here to question your inteligence, but wait for one minute and ask your self, why is it Heydars family lives good from the oil money and people in Azerbejan are not getting any share from it, NAzim it is not our fauls that Azeris are not getting any money from the oil revenue, think what i’m sayin, and Khrabagh is not the problem here oxlum it is your leader he is keeping the poor occupied in Azerbejan while he is having good times in Dubai, and think what i’m saying at the end of the day he was suppose to build Azerbejan but no he said let me build my homes in Morrocco and Dubai than i will think about my people, you know very well when Armenians lived in Baku at the time Baku was glowing and look at it now, just ask your self why is it Heydar has a nise car and NAzim doesnt.

    • Tsayt said:


      You can play down the destruction of this drone as much as you want, the truth is that no Azeri ‘kite” not even an Azeri fly is able to safely cross the air border with Artsakh. You are welcome to send bigger aircraft if you wish to test this.

      To say that the international law is on Azeris’ side is not correct, if it were true the international community would have sanctioned Armenia a long time ago, therefore what you and Turks toot as “international law” is a bogus argument.

      The same international law sides with people’s self determination as much as, even more, a country’s territorial integrity. This is issue is far from just what Baku wants to interpret, and you parrot it.

      Finally, Russia may or may not have a hand in downing this drone, one thing is clear Azeris chronically have an aversion in giving any credit in anything, whether a military defeat or a stuffed zucchini recipe Armenians, according to Azeris, cannot possibly do it alone, heck you don’t even acknowledge Armenians as being a nation.

      Stick around, you and your fellow Azeris will continue learning your lessons, perhaps at the cost of another 50% of Azerbaijan. When that happens you can blame the Russians as much as you want.

    • Papken Hartunian said:

      “Karabak is part of Azerbaijan, according to all internationa law and agreements (e.g., UN, etc).”
      Nazim, under the International law, one of the four necessary features of being a sovereign nation is to have a full control over very well defined territories. Obviously, Azerbaijan has lost its control over Artsakh evidenced by seize agreement between Leaders of Artsakh 20 years ago. You might be refering to this agreement, I beleive. As to the UN, the resolutions passed by UN are not part of the International Law. As to “etc.,” I am not sure what do you have in your mind?

    • steve said:

      if it was, so easy to shoot the drone (kite) WHY pakistanis cant shoot AMERICAN drone
      because its not a KITE

    • Nick said:

      LMAO! Russia owns the region, Turkey doesn’t have the power to intervene. If it did, it would do so in the Georgia Russia war. If Azerbaijan did not care about keeping its Russian interests close, it would have fully sided with NATO a long time ago, and you would see a US base in Azerbaijan, tomorrow. Don’t forget, if Turkey interferes with the any war in the region, CSTO does as well, so does Iran to keep its interests, keeping NATO out as the main priority. The only thing countries like US, Russia, Turkey and Iran can do is throw weapons and money in support of their allies, this will be a bloodbath between our two nations and the rest will benefit. And get your facts straight, Artsakh was given to Azerbaijan illegaly, and declared independence after the Soviet Union broke apart and the war started. Tough loss, and it will be even tougher once your oil is gone. Just be glad you still have our Nakijevan, for now, and move on. No one is giving Artsakh back to you, it would be the end of Armenia and you’ll have to take it by force, which won’t benefit any super power. Let’s make peace and move on, it took the locals over 90 years to claim what was theirs to begin with, now stop crying, you still have a large chunk of land and the Caspian sea.

  4. Hayq said:

    It is a globalized world. US weaponry or parts are in many nation’s armed forces, most likely Armenia’s included.

  5. Pingback: Downed Azeri UAS Had US Parts | UAS VISION

  6. Araxi said:


    No wonder the US has not been able to do something about peace in the Caucasus. They can only create wars and sell weapons, just as they did in Georgia. The massacre of poor Osetians and the Abkhaz people.
    Russia should immediately declare the Independence of Artsakh, just as the South American countries that are working towards it. The time is RIGHT.
    Azerbayjan has once again proven its war mongering ambitions. The azerbayjani people will now hang down their heads in shame and realise that it is Aliyev who is calling for war and not Armenia.

  7. Pingback: New Discovery Links Downed Drone Parts to US Firm | Vehicles Spot

  8. Garo said:

    @Nazim… you know what you sound like? a crying prostitute whos customer has left her unpaid. The loser is azerbaijan who got humuliated infront of the eyes of the world. Dont tell us the Russians did this, and the Russians won the war 20 years ago, just to boost your “below-zero” confidence, as we both know this is not the real case.
    The only thing you are proud of is your oil, which is not a national achievement, but a pure luck your fake country has been benefitting from all these years.
    Open any archives of ANY country in this world, and you shall not find a single document stating the fact that there were azeris in these lands, not even the name “azeri” was known.

    The message of this downing of your umanned plane might for you be nothing more than downing of a kyte, however, in baku those who need to get the message, got it loud and clear.
    This is a proof that you losers cannot enter Artsakh, even with modernised equipment. If we were getting charitable donations from Russia of junk, then why doesnt your sultan abdul aziz aliyev (who is investing in his family from the petrodollars while 1 million are living in tents) doesn’t get these lands back? You have turkey, israel, pakistan by your side ! Who else do you need? :)

    Sit down and think of a nice song to prepare for next years Eurovision, and forget about Artsakh. This time we shall not accept any ceasefire like we did 20 years ago, this time you shall be swimming in the Caspian sea.

    PS – On Wednesday 21st of September sit down and watch our military parade, we have a very nice surprise for our loser neighbours (ie azeris).

  9. Gregory said:

    First of all, well done to the Artsakh Army for being able to locate and destroy the drone. Who knows what damage could have been done if it wasn’t stopped. President Serj Sarkisyan should talk about this incident to the OSCE group as well as to the Council Of Europe. Just like Azerbaijan makes itself seem like the target and the country that is being occupied and ravaged, The Republic Of Armenia should do the same.

  10. John Markarian said:

    Many of Baku’s oil fields were owned and developed by Calouste Gulbenkian. The Azeri and Soviet governments illegally seized his property .His great grandson should file a lawsuit to against Azerbaijan and European companies such as British Petroleum, the Italian ENI and the French Total Oil companies that are co-developing the oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan. All Armenians should e-mail the Gulbenkian Foundation and pressure them to file this lawsuit