Minister Suren Papikyan meeting with Armenian parliament committee on defense and security

YEREVAN — Armenia’s armed forces received significant amounts of new weapons and ammunition last year, Defense Minister Suren Papikyan said on Wednesday.

Papikyan said that they included mortars, air defense and anti-tank rocket systems, drones as well as demining, communication and night-vision surveillance equipment. He declined to reveal the sources, quantities or monetary value of the arms acquisitions.

“I can’t tell where we bought them from. It’s a secret,” Papikyan told the Armenian parliament committee on defense and security.

In recent months, Armenia reportedly signed contracts for the purchase of $245 million worth of Indian multiple-launch rocket systems, anti-tank rockets and ammunition. Papikyan explored the possibility of more such deals when he visited India in October.

Indian media reported afterwards that the two sides signed in November a $155 million deal to supply Indian 155-milimeter self-propelled howitzers to the Armenian army in the coming years. Yerevan has not officially confirmed that either.

Armenia’s military spending is projected to rise by over 40 percent to 506 billion drams ($1.3 billion) this year.

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