NEW DELHI — Armenia has emerged as one of the biggest importers of Indian weapons. There have been reports that the country could acquire the Indian-built surface-to-air missile (SAM), Akash. Eurasian Times reports.

While no one confirms it officially because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed.

Akash is a short-range SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to protect vulnerable areas and points from air attacks. According to the BDL website, the Akash Weapon System (AWS) can simultaneously engage Multiple Targets in Group Mode or Autonomous Mode. It has built-in Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM) features. The entire weapon system is put atop mobile platforms.

It can effectively engage helicopters, fighter jets, and UAVs flying in the range of 4-25 kilometers. It is fully automatic with quick response time from target detection to kill.

It is highly immune to active and passive jamming. It can be transported swiftly via rail or road and can be deployed quickly. The project has an overall indigenous content of 82 percent, which will be increased to 93 percent by 2026-27.

The ICICI Securities newsletter on mutual funds gives an insight into BDL’s order book. The newsletter says that BDL Management expects revenue from exports at 25 percent by 2027 and further orders for Akash SAMs, lightweight torpedoes, SAAW, Konkur (ATGMS), CMDS, and Astra missiles (BRAAM).

The word “further” in the statement is being seen as implying that BDL has already received export orders for the Akash SAM system and Armenia is seen as the most probable destination of the export.

With its ability to engage multiple targets and destroy maneuvering targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles, and missiles launched from choppers, Akash is ideally suited for Yerevan’s requirement to combat the armed drones deployed by Baku.

The EurAsian Times has earlier reported that after importing rocket launchers and missiles from India, Armenia is now importing an anti-drone system.

The Hyderabad-based Zen Technologies is supplying an anti-drone system worth US $ 41.5 million to Armenia. Zen Anti-Drone System, a Counter Unmanned Aerial System (CUAS), is a multi-layer multi-sensor architecture that provides comprehensive security against drone attacks.

Armenia has almost doubled its defense investments over the last year. In 2022, the spending was around US$700 million to US$800 million; now, in 2024, it will be US$1.4 billion or US $1.5 billion.

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