ANCA Calls for Investigation into Azerbaijan-Israel Arms Export Violation

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The ANCA has called on the State Department to investigate the possible third party transfer of U.S. technology to Azerbaijan as part of a proposed Orbiter 1K armed drone sale by Israel defense company Aeronautics Defense Systems.

The ANCA has called on the State Department to investigate the possible third party transfer of U.S. technology to Azerbaijan as part of a proposed Orbiter 1K armed drone sale by Israel defense company Aeronautics Defense Systems.

Seeks Public State Department Review of Potentially Illegal Use of U.S. Parts in a 2017 Israeli Drone Attack Ordered by Azerbaijan against Artsakh

WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America called on the U.S. Department of State this week to officially investigate the potentially illegal use of U.S. defense equipment in a 2017 Israeli drone attack by the Azerbaijani military against the Artsakh Republic.

In a letter to Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Tina Kaidanow, the ANCA requested an open inquiry into “potential U.S. arms export violations in connection with the Israeli government’s legal action against Aeronautics Defense Systems, an arms manufacturer accused of illegally launching a 2017 Orbiter 1K armed drone attack, in coordination with the Azerbaijani military, against Artsakh.” The attack reportedly took place in July, 2017, when the firm was demonstrating their Orbiter 1 drone to Azerbaijani military officials, and was asked to live test its capabilities on Artsakh positions. While the drones did not hit their targets, Army Colonel Armen Gyozalian confirmed to Israeli news outlets that two soldiers were lightly wounded in the incident.

This issue has been the subject of considerable media attention, including an August 29, 2018, article by Radio Free Europe: “Israel Accuses Drone Maker of Bombing Armenian Soldiers, at Baku’s Request.”  According to this account, the Israeli government, having previously suspended Aeronautics Defense Systems’ export license over this attack, now plans to indict the company’s CEO and other senior officials.

The ANCA highlighted the troubling “prospect that Aeronautics Defense Systems armed drones and other defense systems deployed by Azerbaijan against both Artsakh and Armenia may – in contravention of U.S. law and Administration policy – contain U.S. components or technology subject to the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and other legal restrictions governing the third-party sale or transfer of U.S. defense and dual-use articles, technology, or services.” The letter noted a specific area of ANCA concern, notably: “the possible use of transistors, electrical components, and other equipment and technology,” in the Orbiter 1K armed drone.

“Violations of U.S. law in connection to this specific assault and the broader pattern of Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia and Artsakh undermine U.S. interests in promoting regional stability, deterring a renewed outbreak of regional war, and preventing proliferation, including through potential Azerbaijani third-party sale or transfer of sensitive U.S. equipment, software or technology to Russia, Iran, or other problem end-users,” concluded the ANCA.

In February 2017, the ANCA raised similar concerns regarding reports of a pending third-party transfer of sensitive U.S. equipment and technology as part of an Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system sale to Azerbaijan.


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One Comment;

  1. Edward Demiraiakian said:

    Since it is so easy to purchase parts from the US and since Armenian school children can reverse engineer this “Armed drone”. Perhaps we should make them too, out of recycled cardboard and pitch, so as to render them invisible to radar and send them everywhere. Sell these low tech items to anyone with money. The Aghvanian liberation front, The Adjarian independence movement, the Talish-Mugham movevement, all the Palestinian organizations would be lining up for the “Izraeli model”; The Kurds could use these against their obvious and perceived enemies; The Allewites, and all the Middle east sects would be able to afford the third world, economicaly affordable model. The Africans everywhere would sell their last cow to buy one of them. Lets not forget Yemen. The Turks are arming the Uigers, so that market is saturated. Ahhh, so many hands reaching to the skies clamoring for freedom, so many opportunities. Lets imitate the Israelis, they really know the game.