Armenia has signed a deal with India to buy Indian-made Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers, unspecified missiles, and ammunition. This comes as tensions rise with Azerbaijan, which borders Turkey and Pakistan.
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another on Wednesday of breaking a cease-fire deal that halted two days of fighting earlier this month. Sources in the defense and security establishment said that the government-to-government contract, which is worth about Rs 2,000 crore, was signed earlier this month and that supply will be sped up when needed.
The order includes the indigenous Pinaka system, ammunition, and anti-tank rockets, though the actual quantity is unknown. This is the system’s first international order, which was designed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The Army has already put the multiple rocket launcher in place along the borders with China and Pakistan.
The nature of the government-to-government contract was not disclosed, although Armenia has previously purchased Indian defense hardware, according to defense sources. In the midst of its dispute with Azerbaijan, the ex-Soviet republic purchased four indigenous Swathi weapons-finding radars from India in 2020.
Many see Azerbaijan as part of a new axis with Turkey and Pakistan. It has employed Turkish drones in its battle against Armenia and is in talks with Pakistan to purchase the JF-17 jet plane. Observers have noted that, despite their physical distance, an “indirect linkage” has arisen between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as India and Pakistan, in recent years.
Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan signed a Trilateral Ministers Agreement in 2017 that created security cooperation and expanded on earlier bilateral military aid arrangements. The agreement with Armenia is important from a geopolitical point of view, but the export order is also good for the Indian defense industry. The Indian government wants to increase the value of Indian arms exports.
In the fiscal year 2021-2022, India’s defense exports reached a record Rs 13,000 crore, more than “eight times” what they were five years previously. The Narendra Modi government set a target of Rs 35,000 crore ($ 5 billion) in aerospace and defense goods and services exports over the next five years starting in 2020. This is part of the government’s goal of achieving a turnover of Rs 1.75 lakh crore ($ 25 billion) in defense manufacturing by 2025.
In January, India secured a contract with the Philippines to sell BrahMos missiles. India currently exports defense equipment to 75 countries, including weapon simulators, tear gas launchers, torpedo loading mechanisms, alarm monitoring and control, night vision monocular and binocular, light-weight torpedo and fire control systems, armored protection vehicles, weapons locating radar, high-frequency radio, and coastal surveillance radar.
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