Armenia ‘Working’ On Purchase Of Russian Fighter Jets

A Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole fighter jet

A Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole fighter jet

YEREVAN (—Armenia is inching closer to buying sophisticated Russian fighter jets for its armed forces, the Defense Ministry in Yerevan indicated on Thursday.

Russia reportedly agreed in 2012 to sell at least 12 Sukhoi Su-30SM jets to Armenia. According to Russian media reports, the deal fell through because of financial problems cited by the former Armenian government.

Armenia’s current government signaled a strong interest in acquiring such aircraft shortly after taking office in May last year. In June, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan photographed himself in the cockpit of a Su-30SM parked at the Erebuni airbase in Yerevan.

Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan said in early December that Moscow and Yerevan are now close to signing a contract on the delivery of the warplanes which would significantly strengthen Armenia’s modest Air Force. “We are trying to do that very quickly,” he told Russian journalists.

Citing the Armenian Defense Ministry, the Russian Sputnik news agency reported on Wednesday that the contract has already been signed.

The ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisyan, did not confirm that when he spoke to RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “As Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan said, we are working on the acquisition of Su-30s,” he said. “As soon as there are tangible results we will announce them.”

Asked whether an agreement to that effect has indeed been signed with the Russians, Hovannisian said: “When we have tangible results regarding the contract, supply dates or other details we will announce them.”

The Armenian Air Force currently consists of 15 or so low-flying Su-25 jets designed for air-to-ground missions.

Su-30SM can perform a broader range of military tasks with more long-range and precision-guided weapons. It is a more advanced version of a heavy fighter jet developed by the Sukhoi company in the late 1980s. The Russian military commissioned the first batch of such aircraft in 2012.

Tonoyan said in August that the Armenian army needs them too because “no missile system can be a substitute for this capacity in terms of flexibility and resilience.”


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  1. State of Emergency said:

    In this corrupt world, might is right! It’s the only way to secure territorial and national interests.

    • Ararat said:

      The best way is for the Armenian government to acquire nuclear weapons and point them at Baku and Ankara. When the USA dropped theirs on the two Japanese cities during WWII it killed a total of over a quarter million on impact practically and another nearly a quarter million over time due to exposure. Today, one of those weapons can kill over a million on impact alone. That’s how you protect your state and people from Central Asian Turkish and Tatar horde. You put the fear of God in them and mean it. No talks with uncivilized Central Asian goat herders. More bombs and the deadlier the better. Have no mercy on them!