"Azerbaijan's share in global arms supplies will only grow"
Alexei Khlopotov assesses potential of ADEX-2022
INTERVIEWS 07 September 2022 - 14:14
The 4th international defence expo ADEX-2022, held in Baku from September 6 to 8, put into action the objectives of [turning] Azerbaijan into a centre of international military cooperation and arms manufacture. More than 200 companies from 26 countries participate in ADEX, but there are a lot of Azerbaijani weapons in it. As Azerbaijani President, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, who visited the exhibition, noted: "The demonstration of local military products that were successfully tested in real combat operations enhances their importance even more."
"ADEX-2022 is the first international defence exhibition to be organised by Azerbaijan after the country’s brilliant victory in the Patriotic War," President Aliyev said in his address to the participants of the exhibition. At the same time, the 44-day war has certainly become the most reliable test and vivid proof of the strength of Azerbaijani weapons, heroism and fortitude of our troops. Today, when the Azerbaijani army is considered the strongest in the territory of the South Caucasus, and the combat experience of the Armed Forces of our country, which went through the war of the XXI century, is carefully studied in the military centres of developed countries, holding such events in Azerbaijan is more than an obvious logical pattern. Azerbaijan has become a trend in the region's military skill and technological development.
As the Azerbaijani president noted in his address, "The Republic of Azerbaijan has always attached special importance to increasing the combat capability of its Armed Forces and strengthening its material and technical infrastructure. In addition to developing cooperation with the world's leading countries in the military-technical field, our country is also expanding its capabilities in the field of the national defence industry."
And, it must be admitted, that Azerbaijan has something to show and present. In an interview with a Caliber.Az correspondent, Russian military expert Alexei Khlopotov said that the ADEX-2022 exhibition clearly demonstrates the triumph of Azerbaijani weapons and the correctness of the chosen path of building the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, the development of its defence industry, especially against the background of victory in the 44-day war, the obvious military-technological advantage of Azerbaijan on the battlefield. "The mix of the participants and the exhibits on display demonstrate how much interest in collaboration with Azerbaijan has grown globally as a result of these factors," Khlopotov said.
In turn, as our interlocutor notes, Defence Industry Minister Madat Guliyev has already announced the continuation of cooperation in the field of procurement and, most importantly, the joint production of state-of-the-art weapons and ammunition with Türkiye and Israel.
"It should be noted here that over the past 10-15 years, Türkiye has become a technologically advanced state, independently developing and producing almost the entire range of modern weapons. Azerbaijan is now confidently following the same path. In the modern world, it is very important to maintain independence and at the same time have technological superiority. Our own national production of weapons contributes to this," the Russian military expert stressed.
One of the reasons for the fast victory in Karabakh, according to Khlopotov, was that the enemy simply ran out of ammunition. Strikes with precise weaponry and unmanned aerial vehicles, on the one hand, and Armenia's lack of strong defence industry, on the other. It was impossible for the Armenians to compensate for ammunition consumption and loss during the battles.
At the same time, the Azerbaijani military industry, according to the expert, actively collaborates with ASELSAN, one of the world's largest enterprises, including the production of GFAB-250 LG bombs. This is a 250 kg high-explosive bomb with laser guidance that is already being manufactured in Azerbaijan and has the ability to precisely "hit the target".
Khlopotov believes Azerbaijan highlighted the necessity of heavy rocket and artillery strikes, as well as the capabilities of the most advanced unmanned weapons. During the fighting in Karabakh, Azerbaijani operators' competent work with UAVs globally promoted Turkish manufacturers.
Today, Azerbaijan and Türkiye are deepening and expanding cooperation in this direction, and technological foundations are being created for 10-15 years ahead, the expert notes. Thus, Azerbaijan is confidently moving into the future.
"You can often hear that the army and the military-industrial complex are ruining the state. Yes, investments are required here. But the beauty of our own production of weapons lies precisely in budget savings. You can sell manufactured products for export for very expensive and at the same time get the opportunity to strengthen your defence for much less money. Pure rationalism," Khlopotov stressed.
The expert gives another example: The 30-mm 2A42 automatic cannon, which has been the main armament of the BMP-2 [infantry fighting vehicle] and other armoured vehicles for a long time. According to Khlopotov, it has its own resource and requires replacement during intensive service.
"Now it is produced by the Azerbaijani military industry under the name AT30. This means that there is no need to spend currency on its purchases in the Russian Federation. And there are many such examples of real import substitution at ADEX-2022. The Azerbaijani defence industry is very confidently following the path of technological growth, from simple to complex. I am confident that Azerbaijan's share in the global arms supplies will only grow over time," Khlopotov concluded.
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