The 44-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia which ended in a humiliating defeat for the latter may seem far away from India, but it has important lessons for India’s military planners.
While there are many reasons that forced Armenia to agree to a Russian-managed ceasefire that involved relinquishing much of the territory it had taken during fighting in the 1990s, a key factor that tilted the war decisively in Azerbaijan’s favour was the havoc its drones unleashed on Armenian forces.
How Azerbaijan controlled the skies
The 2020 Azerbaijan-Armenia war will go down in history as the first conflict in which drones deployed by one side turned the tide of the six-week war. Militaries all around the world closely watched the conflict – and it provided a glimpse of the battlefields of the future.
As part of the its propaganda, Azerbaijan released drone footage from its eyes in the skies of the brutal targeting of Armenian soldiers, bunkers, armour and equipment below.