Karabakh Enhances Defense Capabilities

Military drill in Karabakh


STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)—The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s armed forces on Friday announced the acquisition of large quantities of heavy weapons and ammunition in the last two years.

“The position we are in, in terms of obtaining concrete weapons and military hardware, is unprecedented,” Nagorno-Karabakh’s top commander, General Movses Hakobian, told a news conference in Stepanakert.

Hakobian said the arms acquisitions have been so extensive that the Karabakh Armenian military has difficulty storing them and plans to build a new arms depot for that purpose. He declined to specify the types of new weaponry delivered to it.

Hakobian already reported a major military buildup in late 2011. He spoke of new tanks, anti-tank rockets and artillery systems at the time. Some defense analysts in Yerevan believe that Karabakh’s Defense Army was supplied with around 100 tanks through Armenia in 2011-2012.

Azerbaijan reportedly began receiving last month a similar number of tanks as well as many other Russian-made offensive weapons worth an estimated $1 billion in accordance to defense contracts signed with Russia.

Hakobian expressed concern about the Russian arms sales to Baku that have been widely criticized in Armenia and Karabakh. He insisted at the same time that the Azerbaijani army is still not strong enough to start and win a new war with the Armenians.

The Karabakh army chief also said that his forces have built new defense fortifications and placed more anti-personnel land mines this year along the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” east and north of the disputed territory. He said this is aimed at preventing sabotage attacks by Azerbaijani troops.


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  1. bigmoustache said:

    All good news but did you know that during the siege of Van, when the town was surrounded by turks, Armenians were so resourceful that unexploded cannon shells were emptied of their gunpowder to use for bullets and bombs. we even made our own cannon! Armenian jewelers were making their own bullets and Armenian scientists were making their own smokeless powder. All while under siege!
    My point is Armenians are very smart, technologically capable and resourceful. Aside from acquiring Russian arms, if we built our own factories and created our own arms industry we would be creating more jobs for Armenians and learn more self reliance. If Armenian history has taught us anything, its that we cant trust or rely on outside help. We should continue with our beneficial alliance with Russia while exercising more self reliance.
    for example factories that make bullets, mines, semtex (c4) would be invaluable to us. these are things we will always need and with something like semtex (c4, plastic explosives) the skies the limit as to the methods in which we can use it.

    • Hay said:

      Hold your horses, we already manufacture bullets, small arms, etc. I feel like the readers here just always like to complain without any knowledge.

      • bigmoustache said:

        its not a complaint, its a suggestion and I said it in the most constructive way. we could also produce our own drones, rpgs and flak jackets. if you think im wrong in my suggestions then say so otherwise stop complaining yourself

  2. ed said:

    I wished or Katolikos with the helpof other Katolikos would build a residence in Shushi and spent at least 3 months a year in Arstakh, and try to receive foreign delegations instead building a residence in Yerevan !

    What Karabakh needs is the soonest opening of the Stepanakaert airport by every mean and a Karbajhi air forces. Let say a couple F17 or Migs. Besides this the border to Arax river needs more protection and local people should be educated again and again about possible suspicion actives or visitors . Karabakh army has to reach Baku with its own military capacity otherwise builld up would be not be effective enough .

    A couple of foreign journalist did visit Stepanaker t . They all did enjoy the hospitality of locals and did interview Karabakhi officials but later they did published garbage , therefore not every so called journalist or expert should be welcomed

  3. GeorgeMardig said:

    Russia should take side and correct once for all the mistakes made by the forme Soviet Union which they are the hereditors of the good and the bad they left to today’s Russia, he can’t play beeing the good guy against the West as a country with superior values than the West, whyle instead of correcting and doing justice to Armenia and Karabakh, they take adavantage to make profit out of the misery of these weak countries (considered friend countries) if this is the way Russia treats his friends, than Armenians don’t need anemies

    • GB said:

      This is why Armenia needs very close contacts with EU countries!! This is the only way to keep the balance between Russian influence against EU and US influence, for survival as a nation in volatile South Caucasus region!!

  4. Gazzo said:

    Very good indeed. NKR has to become an impregnable fortress. Now the time has come not only to acquire defensive weapons but to augment and enhance the armed forces with offensive weapons too. It is not enough to possess defensive capabilities in today geo strategic scenarios, and in the NKR situation surrounded by predatory enemies. It is not going to be enough to shoo off the aggressor, it must be pursued and vanquished in its own liar.

    • john said:

      There is no such thing as only “defensive” weapons. they can be used in ways the holders decide to use them.

  5. john goncuian said:

    I do NOT believe that Azeri fascist and anti-human Aliyev will start a second war in Karabagh because Armenians are very well prepared to defend by our brave and patriotic soldiers and defensive missiles to destroy their recent acquisition of T90 tanks. Again waste of cool Azeri Billion by Aliyev..Also a geographical mountainous region of Karabagh favors Armenia ( easier to defend).However; if insane Aliyev starts this second war after initial intense fighting Armenia will outlast and defeat Azerbeycan decisively!! The loss from the second war will be very costly and it will lead Azerbeycan into eternal caos

  6. mihran said:

    If Armenian history taught Armenians anything at all (Armenian must not trust anybody but themselves )
    Armenia needs to develop her own military hardware bullets to airplanes to nuclear weapons time and big investments are required Armenians do not have any shortage of the very very wealthy class of people our government and our traditional political parties namely Dashnagtsoutioun needs to MOVE THIS PROJECT FORWARD not waiting any longer before everything is to our desire

  7. Alex Postallian said:

    You must remember that azerbaturk,little bastard brother of turkey,both are too much a COWARDS to fight an equal force unless turkey assists, she wont. ALL TALK,NO ACTION.

  8. Ara said:

    Sounds like spin to me. I’ve just read on another site that the same General Movses Hakobian told the press that the T-72 tanks that Armenia has are more advanced than the new T-90 tanks that Azerbaijan has recently acquired. This is just nonsense, T-72 is second-generation main battle tank and T-90 is a third-generation main battle tank i.e. the upgare of a T-72 is a T-90.

    • john said:

      Sure, but for azer baboons propaganda is more disable than inconvenient facts.

    • www.Voskanapat.info said:

      Reminded me of an old joke – it’s not the Merkavas that are scary, but their Ukrainian crews;)

      Seriously, tanks are not that useful in Artsakh because of the landscape and anti-tank missiles. A few Chrysanthemas strategically planted around Artsakh borders will burn through any number and generation of invading T-90s, Merkavas, Abramses, Leopards, and all other wild beasts like there is no tomorrow.

  9. Brandon Sinan said:

    As an Armenian born in the USA, I see Armenia’s heavy armor OBSOLETE gas guzzling NOTHINGS. 22+ years have passed, and Armenia’s air force is/has/will lagging behind all and badly. Having a small country, just like Israel, Armenia needs a formidable and well trained air force. The antiquated Sukhois are no match for the enemy’s Mig 29s on the east, and F-16 on the west. These heavy clunkers must be replaced and soon, otherwise, without an adequate air cover, the heavy armor and infantry are NOTHING but sitting ducks to be picked one after the other. As one Israeli general, Yael Cohen put it mildly:”Armenia cannot fight an effective fight without air cover, Azerbaijan has ALL the same weapons and more. Armenia needs at least 100 New fighter jets to stop any Azeri incursion into Armenia.”