Baku Claims to Have Means to Shoot Down Iskander Missile

Aside from Russia, Armenia is the only country in the region to posses the Iskander missile system
Aside from Russia, Armenia is the only country in the region to posses the Iskander missile system

Aside from Russia, Armenia is the only country in the region to posses the Iskander missile system

BAKU—Azerbaijan’s defense minister claimed that his country’s armed forces possess anti-missile weapons with the capability to shoot down the Russian-made Iskander missile system, which Armenia added to its arsenal last year.

“As defense minister, I declare that we have a system that can shoot down these missiles. We have 50 times more missiles. I fully stand by my words. Imagine the response strike on the infrastructure and military targets [of Armenia], if they [Armenian Armed Forces] decide to use them [the missiles!?” Zakir Hasanov, the Azerbaijani defense minister told the Russian RIA-Novosti in an interview published Wednesday.

Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov

Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov

Yerevan acquired the Iskander missile system from Russia, which delivered it as part of a larger sale of weapons to Armenia financed through a $200,000 loan from the Moscow.

Armenia is the only country in the region, with the exception of Russia, to have the powerful Iskander missile system, which reportedly has a range of 300 kilometers of precision with deadly consequences.

Hasanov told RIA-Novosti that the anti-missile system he referenced was not purchased from Russia, although Azerbaijan is considering the purchase more weapons from Russia, which just last month completed delivery of more arms to Baku as part of sales agreement with that country. Russia has also sold around $5 billion worth of tanks, artillery systems and other weapons to Azerbaijan in line with defense contracts signed in 2009-2011.

“We’re considering buying several more kinds of weapon. The purchase of arms is a multifaceted issue. On one hand, we have to avoid templates, one the other hand, diversity of weapons brings new challenges in their use. This is a rather complicated issue,” he said.

Hasanov noted that the contract on the delivery of Russian tanks, Smerch multiple rocket launchers and Msta-S self-propelled howitzers to Azerbaijan is 90-percent complete and paid for.

“The contract has already been fulfilled by almost 90 percent. We paid for it. There are little things left. Everything has long been used in Azerbaijan and successfully applied. All these are modern weapons that we have mastered and are using,” he said.

Hasanov also said that Azerbaijan remained committed to finding peaceful resolution to the conflict, but quickly saying that use of force was an option if talks don’t yield the necessary results.

“However, it does not mean that the negotiations can last for good. We don’t need negotiations for the sake of negotiations. Look around and you will see international law no longer works. Everyone leans on the option of force. Of course, we must react to this,” he added.


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  1. Masis said:

    It is sophomoric of asbarez to grant so much to grant the Azeris this much opportunity to voice their comments in an Armenian newspaper. I say this for 2 reasons. First, whatever Azeris comment has as much credibility as children’s cartoons. Secondly, nobody, except a Masochist, would grant such publicity to the comments of the enemy.

    Frankly, it is not clear why you write this article. Is it to instill fear among Armenians and shatter their confidence? Is it to show how senseless or ridiculous his comments are? If the latter, you article has failed.

    By recounting the comments of this fool, you are emboldening him. You are the voice of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Act with a purpose.

    • joe said:

      No its not. its important to keep informed and be ACCURATE as to Azeri views and mindset. These threats are real. It should be taken as such.

  2. Armo said:

    LOL that’s 100% pure bullshit for internal consumption. I can confirm they can’t shoot it down.
    Also, the Iskanders were acquired outside of the $200 million loan.

  3. Raffi said:

    ….Look around and you will see international law no longer works….. This is the mindset of Azerbaijan, that’s why they have NO intention of compromise.

  4. joe said:

    Armenia should take these threats seriously because the Azerbaijan despot reckless dictator thug Aliyev regime , needs to always take its own survival in consideration when dealing with Arstakh. The Azeri supposed ‘use of force to failed negotiations’ in realty is always aligned with Azeri domestic economic struggles and failures. I am convinced 100% that the Azeri despot would have launched major offensive already if it thought it could win. Azerbaijan doesn’t care about international consequences. No doubt that the Azeri’s have enough rockets to cause major damage to Armenian infrastructure but again its own oil and main domestic infrastructure would be destroyed as well and should be as first order if it decided to launch a major offensive.. Trust the Armenian army only. Regarding Russia, our supposed ally, sells them weapons worth billions. Tells you all you need to know about Russia and its “protection”…Be vigilant. Azerbaijan is reckless and if desperate enough will launch another offensive. Counter blows are in order. One Armenia, Artsakh and diaspora…

  5. Norserunt said:


    The fundamental motivation behind these types of articles is Asbarez’s Russophobia. In other words, they will do anything to make Russia look bad. In fact, much of the ARF’s Diasporan leadership (particularly in the US) has been promoting anti-Russian attitudes within the Armenian community for many decades. This is part of the reason why there are ideological divides between the ARF in Armenia and the ARF in the Diaspora.

    PS: The anti-missile weapon system the Azeri officials referred to is Israeli made. What the Azeri official can’t say is that the system in question is utterly useless against the Russian made Iskander, of which only Russia and Armenia have. So, yes, Asbarez is again caught disseminating false information simply to make Armenia’s alliance with Russia look bad. Shame, but expected.

  6. Norserunt said:

    Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan IS NOT a threat to Armenia. Moscow is executing a very complex geostrategic agenda. Armenians are incapable of fully understanding this agenda because Armenians are too emotional and politically illiterate. In a nutshell, the agenda is meant to create military parity between Yerevan and Baku and keep both parties dependent on Russia. Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan is not meant to help Azeris defeat Armenians. Moscow gives Armenia the countermeasures (often for free) for every weapons system Baku purchases from Moscow. Baku has the money to purchases whatever it wants. Yerevan does not. Baku pays market prices for everything it acquires from Russia, while Yerevan pays domestic (Russian) prices. Sometimes Armenia is given weapons for free. If Russia did not sell weapons to Azerbaijan, Turkey, Israel, Ukraine, China and Pakistan, to name only a few, would. And in the process, Russia would lose all leverage over Baku, thereby making the situation between Yerevan and Baku even more dangerous. Moreover, Moscow is actively seeking ways to place peacekeeping troops between Armenians and Azeris. Moscow will therefore use its leverage over Yerevan and Baku to eventually realize this agenda. Moscow’s ultimate intention here is to bring peace to the region and reincorporate it back into its political and economic orbit. Being that our small, impoverished, landlocked and blockaded homeland is located is a very dangerous region of the world, this is something that should be wished for by all Armenians.

    Those who do not understand what I wrote are either Western funded cyber activists out to drive a wedge between Armenia and Russia or simple minded, emotional people who simply do not understand the world they live in.

    • State of Emergency said:

      What you wrote would have made perfect sense expect for that little incident that took place back in April 2016.

    • State of Emergency said:

      What you wrote would have made perfect sense except for that little incident that took place back in April 2016.

    • Ararat said:

      I agree with your analysis even though I am not fond of Russia primarily for it is a double dealer and its foreign policies in the region are for self-interests only and for making Armenia, and the artificial Azerbaijan republic for that matter, dependent on Russia in the easternmost NATO front. Russia needs to keep Azerbaijan in its sphere of influence, and will do so often times by taking steps that seem contrary to the interests of its Armenian ally, and I think that is because it needs to keep Azerbaijan away from NATO member terrorist Turkey which is NATO’s eastern front. The fact that the artificial Azerbaijan republic, with all the petrodollar billions invested in military hardware purchased from Russia and despite its war-mongering rhetoric, has been unable to put a dent on the Armenians is a proof that Russia is maintaining the balance of power between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is sad but it is the reality given the fact that Russia’s interests come first.

      I mean you would think that Armenia should at least have an edge over Azerbaijan but the fact that the west placed major economic sanctions on Russia over the Crimea situation and the fact that Azerbaijan had plenty of oil money to spend unfortunately Russia could not resist the temptation to sell all those weapons to Azerbaijan. But at the same time I think the fact that the sale and transfer of Russian made Iskender missiles to Armenia has recently played a major role in curbing Azerbaijani aggression shows that Russia is very much aware and careful of keeping the balance of power between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia needs Armenia in the South Caucasus as much as Armenia needs Russia. Azerbaijan knows it can’t go against Russia, i.e. by warming up to NATO due to its close relations with NATO member Turkey, without facing the consequences of such actions through Russia taking much more aggressive stance against Azerbaijan by emboldening Armenia. It is like some kind of a game where Russia is in charge and it makes a move depending on the actions of the conflicting parties.

      It seems to me, the fact that the status quo is still maintained after all these years and despite Azerbaijani multi-billion dwindling petrodollar military expenditures, that Russia and Armenia together have managed to bankrupt Azerbaijan with practically nothing to show for. The status quo, thus Armenia, is forcing Azerbaijan to spend all those precious petrodollar billions buying weapons from Russia at high premium market prices, which it is unable to put into any effective use, and Russia uses some of the profits from such arms sales to subsidize the sale and the transfer of weapons, with equal or perhaps better quality, to Armenia at dirt cheap prices and often for free.