The Armenian military will buy new, modern weapons from different countries both during the current year and in 2020, Defense Minister David Tonoyan told reporters on Monday, saying Armenia’s military spending budget was “sufficient” to allow the purchases.
“Today the Armenian Armed Forces are acquiring mostly new modernized weaponry. In both 2019 and 2020 we will acquire solely new and modern capacities from various countries both contractually and through credit programs,” Tonoyan told reporters.
In discussing the finances, Tonoyan said that he would like to have seen a double or triple increase in defense spending. However, he said, the current military budget is sufficient to allow for the weapons upgrades.
The Armenian Air Force will be re-equipped with Russian SU-30SM fighter jets in a few months, Tonoyan announced, adding that the aircraft will be delivered to Armenia either by the end of the year or in the first two months of 2020.
“The aircraft will arrive either in December or January-February,” he said, adding that this was the initial timeline. Earlier this summer, various reports indicated that Armenia would acquire for such jets, however, Tonoyan did not reveal a specific number.
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a Russian-made twin-engine, two-seat super-maneuverable fighter aircraft. It is a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.
The Su-30SM has been upgraded for radar, radio communications systems, friend-or-foe identification system, ejection seats, weapons, and other aircraft systems. It has frontal horizontal fins and steerable thrusters for super-maneuverability.
The aircraft can be used to gain air supremacy, while targeting the enemy on the ground using a wide range of weapons including air-to-air, air-to-surface and guided and unguided bombs with total cargo capacity of up to 8,000 kilograms, approximately 17,600 pounds.