Quantity of weapons acquired in 2019 and conditions of acquisition

According to the latest research by Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), Armenia ranks third among the 155 countries in the Global Militarization Index 2018. After the 2018 report, the Armenian Army continued to be equipped with new weapons and military equipment.

At a press conference in Kapan on January 25, 2019, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated in his “100 Facts” that since May 2018 the Republic of Armenia has acquired an unprecedented quantity of ammunition: SU-30 SM multipurpose aircraft, TOR-M2 KM and Ossa-AK anti-aircraft defence complexes over the visible period since May 2018.

“The armed forces were equipped with artillery, anti-aircraft guns, rifles, ammunition, as well as 310 units of automotive equipment. Testing of various types of weapons was carried out. Armenian government closes the shameful page of weapons of the 80s because the new weaponry is either manufactured in 2019 or unused.”- mentioned Pashinyan.

Hereby we present with what means and under what conditions Armenia purchased military equipment from Russia last year.

Amount for the Su-30 SM fighters was paid all at once

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was the first to inform the public about the interest in acquiring Su-30 SM multipurpose aircraft. He posted a picture on his Facebook page on June 17, 2018 and wrote that he was in the cell of one of the world’s best fighter jets- the SU 30 SM.

Afterwards, the Russian Kommersant magazine published an article entitled “Moscow Sold 30 Fighters to Yerevan at Russia’s Domestic Prices”. It stated that Armenia had agreed with Russia to acquire the fighters back in 2012, however, due to financial problems the deal was not made.

According to the newspaper, Yerevan and Moscow resumed talks over the acquisition of Russian fighters after the velvet revolution in 2018. On December 27, 2019, the first batch of Su 30 SM multi-purpose planes was already in Armenia. As to how much Armenia paid Russia for 4 “SU 30 SM”s, Defence Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said the price of the fighters was classified information and he could not reveal secrets.

It should be noted, however, that according to some publications, the market value of one “SU 30 SM” is about $ 50 million.

The average price of an aircraft, according to razm.info, can be estimated at around $ 25-30 million, while other equipment (various technical means, equipment and ammunition) will require about $ 20-25 million.

According to a letter from the Ministry of Defence of Armenia, the fighters were not obtained by credit agreements, which means that they were paid at once (about $ 100 to $ 200 million).

Osa-AK anti-aircraft missile systems for modernization

In December 2019, the OSA-AK anti-aircraft missile systems and their technical capabilities were presented. According to the published picture, at least 5 pieces of Osa-AKs were received. The Soviet anti-aircraft missile complexes “Osa-AK” are designed for the implementation of military air defense tasks. They were produced from 1975 to 1980.

It is estimated that their value is not great. According to the Ministry of Defense, they were brought for army modernization purposes, again with non-credit means. Prior to this, a number of Armenian companies have had the experience of upgrading Osa-AK anti-aircraft missile complexes.

TOR-M2KM” air defense systems on loan

On December 21, 2019, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan posted a photo against the background of TOR-M2 KM anti-missile systems and informed that the Armenian Armed Forces had been equipped with the state-of-the-art Russian-made TOR-M2 KM, which were produced in 2019.

Although the Prime Minister said that their number was secret, it was clear from the published picture that at least four systems were installed mounted on the Kamaz chassis.

“TOR” systems are designed to hit short-range air targets of any type, including drones, wing rockets, and more. Air targets can be detected up to 32 kilometers, struck from 1 to 15 kilometers, and from 10 meters to 10 kilometers. The exact amount that the Armenian side paid for the TOR missile is unknown, however their market value is about $ 25 million. The figure is based on the cost of 29 such systems supplied to Iran- $ 700 million.

Unlike the Su-30 SM aircraft and Osa-AK air defense complexes, according to a letter provided by the Ministry of Defense, the TOR-M2 KM anti-aircraft systems were acquired in the framework of a $ 100 million state export credit provided by Russian Federation, i.e. the systems were repaid from the funds of a $ 100 million loan to Armenia.

“TOR” systems are probably only four

According to a letter from the Ministry of Finance to the Union of Informed Citizens, the first (and only) use of the $ 100 million credit signed in 2017 was made in November 2019 – and it was equal $65, 8 million.

Given that the TOR-M2 KM air defense complexes were acquired from the aforementioned loan funds, it turns out that the Armenian side acquired not more than 4 of these systems, as within the amount of $ 65.8 million, even with all the discounts, there could not be a bigger quantity. Moreover, the cost of acquiring these systems is substantially lower than the price paid by Iran 15 years ago. If Iran had paid about $ 24-25 million for an earlier TOR-M1 system unit, then Armenia would have received the new units of TOR-M2 systems for $ 16.5 million.

According to the Prime Minister, in addition to the above-mentioned military equipment, last year the Armed Forces were also replenished with artillery, rifles, ammunition, and 310 units of automotive equipment, which were also likely to be acquired at once, as $ 65.8 million would hardly be sufficient for purchasing 4 TOR-M2 KM Anti-Aircraft Defense Complexes.


Nelly Lazaryan

Union of Informed Citizens

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