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Lostarmour take on the Second Artsakh-Karabagh War


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Original in Russian: https://lostarmour.info/articles/ostalnye-dni-vtoroy-voyny-karabah-2020-zamechaniya-i-rassuzhdeniya/. The last part with the author's conclusions - I neither agree nor question the author's opinion. Previous parts were mostly about reconstructing actual course of war from videos and photos and how it relates to propaganda from both sides. The pictures and video referenced can be seen at the original URL.

Armenia

1. Did the Armenians have a chance to win the war? If we talk about complete victory, the only possibility is to tie the navel with the strongest belts in 1994 and continue the war until Azerbaijan agrees to the independence of the NKR with the transfer of Lachin. The truce did not work for Armenia.

If by this we mean the relatively complete preservation of the existing front line, then the chances were negligible. I think that the Armenians in any case would have lost the Araks valley and the adjacent desert plateau - they would not have been able to supply troops there along unprotected roads.

But to retain the main territory of the former NKAO and, relying on the mountains and "greenery", and albeit with high losses, but wait for a favorable change in the international situation and / or depletion of Azerbaijan - they had chances. If it was not possible to defend the complete secession of Artsakh, then it would be possible to fight for more favorable conditions, to force one to reckon with oneself - everything would be better than his current completely undefined state, suspended in a fog and obedient fulfillment of Azerbaijani demands.

It is now clear that Aliyev was not disposed to go so radically, confidently and decisively to the end, as he demonstrated in his statements. At the same time, outwardly, as of November 9, everything spoke for the continuation of the war by Azerbaijan until complete victory. If the war continued in the same way as before November 9, then Azerbaijan would completely destroy or expel the Armenian armed forces (obviously, together with the population) from Karabakh until the end of 2020, in the worst case - until the end of winter. But Aliyev stopped the war without achieving the previously stated goals (restoration of territorial integrity and raising the Azerbaijani flag in all occupied lands). Karabakh is not quite Azerbaijan yet, and the phrases "Khankendi bizimdir, Agdere bizimdir, Khojavend bizimdir, Khojaly bizimdir" have not been uttered. This suggests that there were serious factors restraining Aliyev. Most likely, this is the threat of isolation, sanctions and an embargo on oil and gas from the Western countries for the expulsion of Armenians, possibly also limited financial and military resources (for example, ammunition). And if the Armenians were able to stop the offensive of Azerbaijan, the effect of these factors would only increase, persuading Aliyev to conclude a real, and not a fictitious demonstration (like October 9 and 26) truce. There was no guarantee that this would happen, of course, but there were chances.

However, these chances were completely destroyed by the current military-political leadership of Armenia, which decided not to send full-fledged regular units from Armenia to Karabakh (not counting rocket launchers, artillery and other special units, as well as the defense of Zangezur, i.e., the actual territory of Armenia) and not declare a general mobilization.

Now it has become a commonplace that the main problem in Armenia was Azerbaijani drones. But this is not the case. There were simply too few attack drones to inflict really serious losses in manpower; they could sensitively thin out equipment and deprive the Armenians of the ability to attack, but they were not able to seriously damage the infantry sitting in the mountains, properly sheltered, dispersed and mindful of the air. Even the use of heavy guided bombs from the Su-25 did not guarantee the collapse of the Armenian defense, as the successful defense of Martuni (Khojavend) in early November showed.

The main problem of the Armenian army, which left a clear imprint on all operations of this war, was the severe shortage of infantry. After the breakthrough of the front in Boyuk-Marjanli, the Azerbaijanis seemed to have sunk into emptiness. There were no significant Armenian reserves there - only separate cover groups, and the Azeri offensive was essentially restrained only by its own caution. These reserves did not appear until the very end of the war, the Armenians were unable to create anything that could be called a new front line. In the future, the Armenians acted only in small, scattered detachments, which were not enough even to control large settlements, and no one tried to defend small villages. The battles for Hadrut are especially indicative here. This city was of great moral and strategic importance and was located on the direction of the Azerbaijani offensive. Aliyev even prematurely announced his capture, clearly indicating his intentions. However, the Azerbaijanis were only found in the city center when they were hanging their flag. This means that there was no control not only over the approaches and possible routes of the enemy's approach, but the city itself was poorly controlled. The next day, Armenian reinforcements were shown to Hadrut - President Harutyunyan himself with his special forces, more reminiscent of a gang of mountain robbers. And when a few days later the Azerbaijanis seized the city without serious battles, it became clear that the Armenians had practically nothing but this special forces. And without reserves, without replenishment of losses, with many kilometers of uncontrolled terrain, no enemy drones are needed to be defeated. Azerbaijan would have won even without the "Harops", "Skystrikers" and "Bayraktar" - its assault infantry detachments could always find an unguarded gorge and bypass, surround and destroy, or force the small and scattered Armenian groups to withdraw (this is well shown in the film "Anna News "From near Karin-Taka in early November). It would take a little longer and cost a lot, but the result would be the same.

Meanwhile, theoretically, Armenia was able to saturate the front with infantry to sufficient densities. According to the experience of world wars, the country is able to mobilize up to 10% of the total population without serious stress. In the case of Armenia, this meant conscription of no less than 200-250 thousand people. This number made it possible to create and maintain a full-fledged solid front in Karabakh. In the event of a total war with an extreme strain of forces, up to 20% of the total population can be mobilized, as Germany did in both world wars and the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War, i.e. for Armenia - up to 500-600 thousand people. This did not guarantee victory (since Azerbaijan could mobilize a million or more), but it gave chances for a successful defense and wasting time. However, even an attempt at such mobilization was not made - according to an estimate "by eye", Armenia during the war had mobilized no more than 70 thousand people, and in any case - no more than 100 thousand.

 The reason for this, as already mentioned, is in the decisions of the Armenian leadership. The simplest and most logical explanation for this behavior is that the Armenian leadership, for some reason, did not want to fight for Karabakh, in other words, Pashinyan, Tonoyan and others are traitors. Whether this is so and how much so, the Armenians themselves must find out. The Armenian leadership is indeed behaving strangely and surprisingly, which was clearly manifested in the post-war incident with Khtsaberd, Khin Taher and Dizapayt. It seems to me more interesting and useful to consider the possibility of the influence of other, more "traditional" factors - mistakes, stupidity, incompetence and so on.

So, in addition to betrayal, in my opinion, the only explanation for the refusal to send corps from Armenia is the fear of an attack by Azerbaijan on the territory of Armenia proper from Nakhichevan, Gazakh and Tovuz, as well as the fear of Turkey entering the war. However, such a case made it possible to use the CSTO mechanism and it is very doubtful that Aliyev and Erdogan had a great desire to test his strength, teasing and humiliating Putin. Turkey did not at all demonstrate a desire to actively intervene in this conflict and, I think, would start acting only in the event of a complete catastrophe of Azerbaijan with a retreat to the Kur. The opening of new fronts from Azerbaijan was more likely, however, I am sure that Aliyev would start thinking about it only after the failure of the offensive in Karabakh itself. But for this to happen, it was just necessary to send additional Armenian forces to Karabakh, therefore, without this action, the preservation of troops in Armenia would be meaningless. Yes, sending troops to Karabakh was risky - but the risk was justified. Pashinyan should have preferred the explicit and immediate threat of losing Karabakh to the implicit and perceived threat of an attack from other directions. Thus, the Armenian leadership can be accused, if not of betrayal, then at least of strategic timidity, myopia and inadequacy.

2. Отдельного замечания заслуживает армянская предвоенная дипломатия. Армения находилась в сложнейшем геостратегическом положении, будучи зажата между превосходящими в десятки раз врагами и не обладая надёжными коммуникациями с миром. Но и в такой ситуации слабое государство может противостоять противникам, если заручится поддержкой и защитой достаточно сильного и способного повлиять на ситуацию союзника. Армения должна была стать для такого союзника настолько ценным партнёром, чтобы он согласился ради неё пожертвовать своими отношениями с Турцией и Азербайджаном и способствовать нарушению территориальной целостности Азербайджана (что до сих пор считается одиозным деянием), а также предпринять силовые действия, достаточные для того, чтобы остановить Азербайджан.

 Подходящих государств было всего два – США и Россия. Но для США ценность Армении никогда не превысит ценность Турции, пока последняя является членом НАТО и не выступает прямо против США. Кроме того, США очень ограничены в средствах непосредственного силового воздействия в регионе и не способны их достаточно быстро нарастить. Что касается России, то Армения считала себя достаточно сильной и независимой, чтобы вести вполне свободную политику и не связывать себя более тесными и крепкими обязательствами, чем в рамках ОДКБ. А ОДКБ никогда не имела ввиду решение Карабахского вопроса, и членство Армении в ней носило в первую очередь антитурецкий характер. Хуже того, в Армении рос скепсис относительно союза с Россией, к власти пришли соответствующим образом настроенные люди, а в России в ответ ширились взгляды на Армению как на чемодан без ручки. Результатом этого стало заявление Путина в начале войны о том, что Армения и Азербайджан одинаково важны для России. Таким образом, одна из самых важных битв этой войны – на дипломатическом фронте – была проиграна Арменией до первых выстрелов, и на настоящих фронтах ей пришлось сражаться в одиночку.

В то же время необходимо отметить, что даже в таких обстоятельствах членство Армении в ОДКБ оказало колоссальное, хотя и практически не заметное, влияние на картину войны. Оно резко ограничило свободу действий Алиева и заставило его очень сдержанно хулиганить на территории собственно Армении. Будь Армения действительно в одиночестве, наступления Азербайджана со стороны Нахичевани и Товуза были бы практически неизбежными – слишком большие стратегические выгоды они сулили. Весьма вероятными становились обстрелы и бомбардировки армянских городов. В этом случае положение Армении из тяжёлого стало бы совсем невозможным.

3. Нельзя не отметить и ответственность армянского общества в целом. Одержав в значительной мере за счёт высокого боевого боевого духа замечательную победу в 1994 г., армяне решили, что дух не только необходимое, но и вполне достаточное условие победы, преисполнившись гордыней и презрением к врагу. В результате, когда Азербайджан занимался деятельной подготовкой к реваншу, армяне, снисходительно на это взирая, вместо подготовки общества и поиска средств и способов победы занимались самолюбованием. Эта война стала ярким примером того, как уверенность в себе и своей победе могут стать для этой победы смертельными врагами.

Эта самоуверенность и самонадеянность проявилась практически во всех аспектах подготовки Армении к войне. Я лишь хотел бы обратить внимание на один аспект: воспитанные в уверенности в собственном превосходстве, солдаты и офицеры оказались не готовы к действиям в условиях превосходства противника. Это привело к неоптимальным и ошибочным решениям, повышенным потерям и во многих случаях – к моральному слому личного состава (при том, что вообще армяне себя трусами не проявили).  Именно о полном моральном коллапсе свидетельствует множество брошенной в исправности военной техники, даже при наличии всех возможностей её уничтожить (особенно в этой связи вспоминается ангар с танками в Физули).  

4. Информационную политику армянского руководства нельзя назвать иначе как позорной. Попытки удержать на пропагандистском фронте те населённые пункты, которые давно уже были потеряны на реальном, не имеют никакого военного смысла и свидетельствуют только о трусости перед лицом собственного народа и неверии в его боевой дух.

5. Некоторые действия армянского командования не поддаются никакому объяснению. Своё важнейшее оперативно-стратегическое оружие – тяжёлые РСЗО «Смерч» - армяне, судя по всему, всю войну продержали в одном месте – в долине реки Хачинчай, к западу от с. Алиагалы. Все атаки и уничтожения армянских «Смерчей» произошли всего в паре километров друг от друга.

The main problem of the Armenian army, which left a clear imprint on all operations of this war, was the severe shortage of infantry. After the breakthrough of the front in Boyuk-Marjanli, the Azerbaijanis seemed to have sunk into emptiness. There were no significant Armenian reserves there - only separate cover groups, and the Azeri offensive was essentially restrained only by its own caution. These reserves did not appear until the very end of the war, the Armenians were unable to create anything that could be called a new front line. In the future, the Armenians acted only in small, scattered detachments, which were not enough even to control large settlements, and no one tried to defend small villages. The battles for Hadrut are especially indicative here. This city was of great moral and strategic importance and was located on the direction of the Azerbaijani offensive. Aliyev even prematurely announced his capture, clearly indicating his intentions. However, the Azerbaijanis were only found in the city center when they were hanging their flag. This means that there was no control not only over the approaches and possible routes of the enemy's approach, but the city itself was poorly controlled. The next day, Armenian reinforcements were shown to Hadrut - President Harutyunyan himself with his special forces, more reminiscent of a gang of mountain robbers. And when a few days later the Azerbaijanis seized the city without serious battles, it became clear that the Armenians had practically nothing but this special forces. And without reserves, without replenishment of losses, with many kilometers of uncontrolled terrain, no enemy drones are needed to be defeated. Azerbaijan would have won even without the "Harops", "Skystrikers" and "Bayraktar" - its assault infantry detachments could always find an unguarded gorge and bypass, surround and destroy, or force the small and scattered Armenian groups to withdraw (this is well shown in the film "Anna News "From near Karin-Taka in early November). It would take a little longer and cost a lot, but the result would be the same.

Meanwhile, theoretically, Armenia was able to saturate the front with infantry to sufficient densities. According to the experience of world wars, the country is able to mobilize up to 10% of the total population without serious stress. In the case of Armenia, this meant conscription of no less than 200-250 thousand people. This number made it possible to create and maintain a full-fledged solid front in Karabakh. In the event of a total war with an extreme strain of forces, up to 20% of the total population can be mobilized, as Germany did in both world wars and the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War, i.e. for Armenia - up to 500-600 thousand people. This did not guarantee victory (since Azerbaijan could mobilize a million or more), but it gave chances for a successful defense and wasting time. However, even an attempt at such mobilization was not made - according to an estimate "by eye", Armenia during the war had mobilized no more than 70 thousand people, and in any case - no more than 100 thousand.

 The reason for this, as already mentioned, is in the decisions of the Armenian leadership. The simplest and most logical explanation for this behavior is that the Armenian leadership, for some reason, did not want to fight for Karabakh, in other words, Pashinyan, Tonoyan and others are traitors. Whether this is so and how much so, the Armenians themselves must find out. The Armenian leadership is indeed behaving strangely and surprisingly, which was clearly manifested in the post-war incident with Khtsaberd, Khin Taher and Dizapayt. It seems to me more interesting and useful to consider the possibility of the influence of other, more "traditional" factors - mistakes, stupidity, incompetence and so on.

So, in addition to betrayal, in my opinion, the only explanation for the refusal to send corps from Armenia is the fear of an attack by Azerbaijan on the territory of Armenia proper from Nakhichevan, Gazakh and Tovuz, as well as the fear of Turkey entering the war. However, such a case made it possible to use the CSTO mechanism and it is very doubtful that Aliyev and Erdogan had a great desire to test his strength, teasing and humiliating Putin. Turkey did not at all demonstrate a desire to actively intervene in this conflict and, I think, would start acting only in the event of a complete catastrophe of Azerbaijan with a retreat to the Kur. The opening of new fronts from Azerbaijan was more likely, however, I am sure that Aliyev would start thinking about it only after the failure of the offensive in Karabakh itself. But for this to happen, it was just necessary to send additional Armenian forces to Karabakh, therefore, without this action, the preservation of troops in Armenia would be meaningless. Yes, sending troops to Karabakh was risky - but the risk was justified. Pashinyan should have preferred the explicit and immediate threat of losing Karabakh to the implicit and perceived threat of an attack from other directions. Thus, the Armenian leadership can be accused, if not of betrayal, then at least of strategic timidity, myopia and inadequacy.

On October 17, a video was posted of an attack by the Azerbaijani "Harop" on the Armenian "Smerch", trying to hide in the bed of the Khachinchay River (www.google.com/maps/place/40.037656,46.699284).

The result of this attack is still unknown, but even if the "Harop" missed, the Armenians are unlikely not to notice the explosion, which, at least, should have alerted them. But they continued to use the same area for launches.

As a result, on October 29, the Azerbaijanis, angry after the shelling of Barda, could easily (even before the start of the shooting) spot one launcher and destroy it with several drone strikes (id26419). This happened just 2.5 km from the site of the first attack (www.google.com/maps/place/40.035058,46.728555).

Moreover, it turned out that on October 13 the Sentinel-2 satellite captured the moment the Smerch fired from the same position somewhere to the northeast in the direction of Terter-Yevlakh.

And the Armenian video of "Smerch" shooting posted after the war was also filmed at the same place, the fire is being directed to the north.

https://vk.com/wall-164246427_103522

But the destruction of the "Smerch" did not affect the Armenians in any way - they did not change either the place of deployment, or the launch area, and did not even disperse the vehicles. The next day, without embarrassment, they went to shoot at a position just 2.2 km to the west (www.google.com/maps/place/40.039233,46.703739). Naturally, they were already expected there. This time, the Azerbaijanis acted smarter - they let them shoot, then followed the launcher to the place of shelter (www.google.com/maps/place/40.034257,46.685200) and destroyed 2 Smerch at once, recklessly placed next to each other (id26426 and 26427). Together with the "Tornadoes", a fire engine died, which drove up to extinguish the id26426 that was hit by the first.

On the other hand, this episode illustrates the good camouflaging properties of the greenery even against modern means of observation - even if the Azerbaijanis, who were extremely motivated after shelling their cities, could not find huge launchers in their shelter in a small grove without the help of Armenians.

6. I hope that the Armenian military has kept and will be able to upload the complete recordings from their surveillance cameras. On the one hand, there is no military secret there, all positions are lost, and on the other hand, until now the general public could not observe the large-scale battles of the two armies completely from beginning to end, and Armenia can be the first to provide the world with such an opportunity.

Azerbaijan

1. Azerbaijan waged this war for a solid four, showing not only quantitative, but also noticeable qualitative superiority over Armenia. And most of the credit for this belongs to the autocratic regime of President Aliyev. Aliyev was at the height of his position as Bashkomandan. And if it is still difficult to say anything about his purely military talents, then his abilities as a foreign and domestic politician had no less, if not greater influence on the victorious outcome. He was able to create a favorable international environment for Azerbaijan and to a significant extent isolate Armenia. As the leader of the country for 17 years, he was able to ensure the planned and systematic preparation of the army and society for war. Particularly noticeable were Azerbaijan's solid investments in the information front (up to the purchase of "experts" in Russia and the creation of many fake pseudo-Russian and pseudo-Armenian accounts on social networks). And if the centralization of state administration, the absence of opposition, the suppression of dissent, the restriction of information, the rabid propaganda of ethnic hatred, militarism and the like can have a negative impact on the peaceful development of Azerbaijan, then their influence on victory in the war was purely positive. I doubt that a parliamentary republic would have been able to achieve comparable efficiency in specific ethnogeographic conditions.

At the same time, there were clearly flaws and mistakes in the military organization, which led to the failure of the first offensive on September 27. In the future, their influence was smoothed out by the quantitative and qualitative weakness of the enemy, and if the Azerbaijani command is unable to soberly and honestly analyze its actions and draw conclusions from them, then these flaws can painfully backfire in the future.

2. Azerbaijan, despite its superiority in almost everything, at any given time could successfully advance only in one fairly narrow direction. At first it was the northern Talysh direction, then, after breaking through the front, the Azerbaijanis attacked Jebrail, Hadrut and further north until the 20th of October, forcing the Armenians to leave Fizuli. Somewhere on October 16-17, the Azerbaijanis discovered that there was practically no one in the Araks valley and on the plateau north of it, and launched an offensive there, quickly reaching Zangelan and the valley of the river. Akers. After October 20, when they did meet resistance there, within a week the focus of the fighting shifted to the west. Then, from the middle of the 20s, Azerbaijan begins a slow advance through the mountains to Shusha. A little later, a parallel attack on Martuni (Khojavend) is read. And here it is indicative that this offensive never reached its final goal, although on November 3-4 Azerbaijanis broke through directly to the city. They were thrown back and for the week remaining until the end of the war, when decisive battles for Shusha unfolded, they could not overcome the several kilometers separating them from Martuni.

At the same time, it cannot be said that an offensive in the other direction was unnecessary - it could paralyze the Armenians' ability to maneuver their forces and reserves. But attempts to advance from Matagis / Sugovushan to the south were almost unsuccessful.

This testifies to the presence of some kind of bottleneck in the Azerbaijani grouping, which did not allow successfully advancing in several directions at once. This may be a lack of artillery for a sufficiently dense artillery support, a lack of high-class strike infantry, a lack of logistics capacity, or a lack of drones that were not able to provide sufficient information and force support in several directions at once. One way or another, but this once again shows that Azerbaijan's success was based on a very limited basis.

3. It is surprising that Azerbaijan, in the front ranks in the direction of the main strikes, of unmodernized T-72A tanks without reactive armor. On the modern battlefield, their combat value is only slightly higher than that of the T-55, which in this war were completely correctly used as an SPG. It is also unclear why Azerbaijan, spending substantial money on defense, was unable to allocate not so large funds for their modernization. To do this, it was possible to reduce the obviously excessive and completely useless in the current realities of the cost of the fleet. This testifies to the lack of consistency in the Azerbaijani strategic planning.

4. The main failure of Azerbaijan in this war is civil defense. In the early days, the villages immediately adjacent to the front line were evacuated, but, as far as can be judged, there was no evacuation from the large cities and villages located a little further, even after the start of Armenian rocket attacks, they lived as if in peacetime. Also, the system of early detection and warning of a missile attack was not organized (in any case, its work is not visible on the video of the shelling of Ganja and Barda). The result was significantly greater losses of civilians behind the front line than the Armenian side (the only indicator by which Armenia “defeated” Azerbaijan). And a noticeable part of the responsibility for these victims lies with the leadership of Azerbaijan.

5. A large number of hits on the Armenian equipment filmed with the cameras of "Bayraktar" caused a furor and almost the cult of "Saint Bayraktar". The hundreds of tanks they destroyed were counted. However, the analysis of the results makes the applause damp down. First, it is far from always clear whether the target was destroyed by Bayraktar's own weapons, or whether he only watched its defeat by other systems. Secondly, "Bayraktars" performed well against trucks, artillery, light armored vehicles and inadvertently crowded infantry. But heavy armored vehicles demonstrated significantly better stability. Filmed on camera, the defeat of the tank did not always mean its death.

So, for example, this tank in Merdinli

and this tank in Fizuli

got 2 hits each and were able to leave from there - in those places later there was nothing.

Of the 7 tanks at Karaköllu, 6 received hits, but only one was destroyed (the far right, id26456), and that, most likely, not immediately.

The article previously considered several more cases when a hit from the Bayraktar did not lead to the death of the tank.

At the same time, it is impossible to underestimate the danger of controlled weapons attacking from above for tanks. Even without destroying a tank, hits from drones inflict damage and can force you to withdraw from the battle or even throw the tank as a gift to the enemy. The role of tanks without an all-aspect KAZ on the battlefield with a modern enemy narrows down to indecency, in fact, they can only perform auxiliary functions. But the importance of BMPTs is sharply increasing: if their guns are provided with the ability of anti-aircraft firing with appropriate detection and control systems, no one else will have a question why they are needed.

The combat value of hand-operated small-caliber anti-aircraft systems dropped to zero. The ZU-23-2 in its current form against modern means of destruction looks like a ZUlus with an assembly against machine guns and magazine rifles.

6. The main advantage of Bayraktars and similar drones over air defense systems is the optical reconnaissance distance, which is much higher than the range of the short (Osa, Pantsir, Tor) and even medium (Buk) air defense systems, and is provided US-Canadian optoelectronic station CMX-15D. A good illustration of its capabilities is the AzMO video from September 30.

The distance between points on the earth's surface at the top and at the bottom of the frame is about 15 km. View from northeast to southwest. In the distance, the valley of the Chailag river, the old Azerbaijani village of Minbashyly and the new Armenian Arajamug; the lower left edge of the frame shows the village of Kuydzhak. The observed target is located near the village of Tulus. At the same time, the drone itself flies much farther - near the villages of Ashagy Kurdmakhmudlu and Gayidish, in the deep Azerbaijani rear. The distance to the front line is more than 20 km, i.e. the drone flew in complete safety. The distance to the observed target is about 53 km, to the upper edge of the frame is about 58 km.

At such a distance, the drone cannot independently destroy the target or give target designation with a laser, but it can observe tens of square kilometers of enemy rear and detect the work of artillery, missile launches of MLRS and air defense systems and transmit their coordinates for destruction by other weapon systems. In the case of an air defense system, he can follow it until a convenient situation arises (redeployment, exhaustion of air defense missile systems, etc.), direct "Spike-NLOS", "Harop" or artillery, and, if the opportunity arises, get close and attack independently.

In this case, "Bayraktar", apparently, did not participate in the destruction of targets, but only watched their defeat with other weapons. At the same time, from the targets to the front line at that time about 17 km. Approximately 90 seconds elapsed between the defeat of the two targets.

Exactly what targets were hit, it became clear from the AzMO video posted on October 1. These are 2 SAM "Osa" (id25896 and 25898).

25896 (www.google.com/maps/place/39.365434,47.070959):

25898 (www.google.com/maps/place/39.364449,47.071670):

Filming is being conducted from another Bayraktar, flying eastward in a southerly direction at a fairly large distance (since the camera is already losing color perception), but no more than 15 km, since the territory of Iran is already beginning further. It is also possible that the operation involved 2 Bayraktar, which both flew in approximately the same direction (one flew further, since the image quality was noticeably different), while each was keeping an eye on its target. It is difficult to say whether the Bayraktar hit targets with its weapons or only provided target designation to foreign missiles - the size of the shells, as far as we can judge, roughly corresponds to the standard for the Bayraktar MAM-L, but they fly up to the targets from the north, not the east. At the same time, the air defense system does not see the drone, or is jammed with interference, or is distracted by another target (possibly An-2). All this shows how systematically and consistently the Azerbaijanis approached the task of suppressing even outdated air defense.

 

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1 hour ago, IMHO said:

At the same time, it is impossible to underestimate the danger of controlled weapons attacking from above for tanks. Even without destroying a tank, hits from drones inflict damage and can force you to withdraw from the battle or even throw the tank as a gift to the enemy. The role of tanks without an all-aspect KAZ on the battlefield with a modern enemy narrows down to indecency, in fact, they can only perform auxiliary functions. But the importance of BMPTs is sharply increasing: if their guns are provided with the ability of anti-aircraft firing with appropriate detection and control systems, no one else will have a question why they are needed.

Interesting perspective.

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Interesting piece, thanks for sharing.  Did you use Google Translate?  Just so you know there is a section that is duplicated and a section that remains in Russian.

The author refers to "all-aspect KAZ".  Does this refer to APS, air defense or a manufacturer/design bureau?

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16 minutes ago, fireship4 said:

Interesting piece, thanks for sharing.  Did you use Google Translate?  Just so you know there is a section that is duplicated and a section that remains in Russian.

The author refers to "all-aspect KAZ".  Does this refer to APS, air defense or a manufacturer/design bureau?

Yeah. Copy-paste, copy-paste again and again. Here's the translation for the Russian part

2. The Armenian pre-war diplomacy deserves a separate comment. Armenia was in a difficult geostrategic position, being squeezed between enemies tens of times superior and not having reliable communications with the world. But even in such a situation, a weak state can resist opponents if it enlists the support and protection of a sufficiently strong ally capable of influencing the situation. Armenia should have become such a valuable partner for such an ally that he would agree to sacrifice his relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan for her sake and contribute to the violation of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan (which is still considered an odious act), as well as to take forceful actions sufficient to stop Azerbaijan.

 There were only two suitable states - the United States and Russia. But for the United States, the value of Armenia will never exceed that of Turkey, as long as the latter is a NATO member and does not directly oppose the United States. In addition, the United States is very limited in the means of direct force influence in the region and is not able to increase them quickly enough. As for Russia, Armenia considered itself strong and independent enough to pursue a completely free policy and not be bound by closer and stronger obligations than within the framework of the CSTO. And the CSTO never had in mind the solution of the Karabakh issue, and Armenia's membership in it was primarily anti-Turkish. Worse, skepticism about an alliance with Russia grew in Armenia, appropriately minded people came to power, and in response, in Russia, views of Armenia as a suitcase without a handle widened. This resulted in Putin's statement at the start of the war that Armenia and Azerbaijan are equally important to Russia. Thus, one of the most important battles of this war - on the diplomatic front - was lost by Armenia before the first shots were fired, and on real fronts it had to fight alone.

At the same time, it should be noted that even in such circumstances, Armenia's membership in the CSTO had a colossal, albeit practically unnoticeable, impact on the picture of the war. It sharply limited Aliyev's freedom of action and made him very restrained hooliganism on the territory of Armenia proper. If Armenia was really alone, Azerbaijan's offensives from Nakhichevan and Tovuz would be practically inevitable - they promised too great strategic benefits. Shelling and bombing of Armenian cities became highly probable. In this case, the position of Armenia from a difficult one would become completely impossible.

3. One cannot but note the responsibility of the Armenian society as a whole. Having gained a remarkable victory in 1994, largely due to their high fighting spirit, the Armenians decided that spirit was not only a necessary, but also a sufficient condition for victory, filled with pride and contempt for the enemy. As a result, when Azerbaijan was actively preparing for revenge, the Armenians, condescendingly looking at it, instead of preparing society and looking for means and ways of victory, were engaged in self-admiration. This war was a shining example of how self-confidence and self-confidence can become mortal enemies for this victory.

This self-confidence and arrogance manifested itself in almost all aspects of Armenia's preparation for war. I would only like to draw attention to one aspect: educated in confidence in their own superiority, the soldiers and officers were not ready to act in the face of enemy superiority. This led to sub-optimal and erroneous decisions, increased losses and, in many cases, to a moral breakdown of the personnel (despite the fact that in general the Armenians did not show themselves as cowards). It is a complete moral collapse that is evidenced by the many abandoned military equipment, even with all the possibilities to destroy it (especially in this regard, I remember the hangar with tanks in Fizuli).

4. The information policy of the Armenian leadership can only be called shameful. Attempts to keep on the propaganda front those settlements that have long been lost on the real one have no military meaning and only testify to cowardice in the face of their own people and disbelief in their fighting spirit.

5. Some actions of the Armenian command defy any explanation. Their most important operational-strategic weapon - heavy MLRS "Smerch" - the Armenians, apparently, kept the entire war in one place - in the valley of the Khachinchay River, west of the village. Aliagaly. All attacks and destruction of the Armenian "Tornadoes" took place just a couple of kilometers from each other.

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16 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Interesting perspective.

  1. The author is more into image analysis rather then warfare per se. Hellfire's range is 11kms and even MAM-L having no engine whatsoever can strike at 8kms if launched at sufficient altitude. BMPTs won't help much even if given a radar and thus converted to SHORAD duties.
  2. I don't know if it's mentioned in the text but Artsakh's Army pretty much ran out of trained crews for heavy weapons. It was in a leaked conversation of Artskakh's President shortly before surrender. He says that even if heavy equipment is procured somehow he's got no one trained to man them. So there was no point in continuing the massacre. Azeris can easily avoid head-on fights and grind unprotected men with Kalashnikovs from afar.
Edited by IMHO
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1 minute ago, IMHO said:

The author is more into image analysis rather then warfare per se. Hellfire's range is 11kms and even MAM-L having no engine whatsoever can strike at 8kms if launched at sufficient altitude. BMPTs won't help much even if given a radar and converted to SHORAD.

Suspect this may be one of the reasons for the new enthusiasm for the 57mm gun and advanced optical targetting.

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15 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Suspect this may be one of the reasons for the new enthusiasm for the 57mm gun and advanced optical targetting.

Partially yes but the main reasons for 57mm are:

  1. To counter heavily protected IFVs like Rheinmentall Lynx. Russian 30х165mm AP/APDS penetration is comparable to Western 25x137mm and it's significantly less potent than the Western 30x173mm.
  2. To use ABHE since 30mm leaves little room for HE filling (Russian AB circuitry is bigger than the Western counterparts).
Edited by IMHO
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22 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

advanced optical targetting.

Nope, optical targeting as used in Pantsyr is good for 2-3km and if initial targeting is fed from a radar. At 8-11km ranges the flight time is just too long. Add to this the weather limitations.

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15 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I thought the system on Derivatsiya was rather more sophisticated than that and the plan was for guided shells?  :unsure:

Nope, "guided" shell in UVZ speak is just controlled detonation time i.e. AB. There're no plans for in-flight trajectory changes as of now.

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Glad you cleared that up.....I was kind of wondering how that was going to work. 

I'm also somehat intrigued by the tiny little Bulat 'ATGMs' on the Epocha turret.....They don't seem big enough to do more than dent an AFV, I've read suggestions that they could be 'decoy missiles' to trigger APS allowing a window for a Kornet missile following close behind, but they also look like they could properly spoil a drone's day with a much simpler HE-Frag warhead.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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3 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I'm also somehat intrigued by the tiny little Bulat 'ATGMs' on the Epocha turret.....They don't seem big enough to do more than dent an AFV, I've read suggestions that they could be 'decoy missiles' to trigger APS allowing a window for a Kornet missile following close behind, but they also look like they could properly spoil a drone's day with a much simpler HE-Frag warhead.

Well... You kinda have it all laid out if you know what I mean :) Sorry I'd rather say no more :( 

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15 hours ago, IMHO said:

Yeah. Copy-paste, copy-paste again and again. Here's the translation for the Russian part

Thanks for that.

 

13 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

the tiny little Bulat 'ATGMs' on the Epocha turret

http://warfaretech.blogspot.com/2015/05/while-we-are-on-remote-turrets-enter.html

They look more like smoke launchers to me, there are two more units on the back of the turret according to a model in the article linked above.  It marks them as "система постановки завес", "sistema postanovki zaves" or "curtain setting sytem" according to Google. 

Edited by fireship4
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3 hours ago, fireship4 said:

Thanks for that.

http://warfaretech.blogspot.com/2015/05/while-we-are-on-remote-turrets-enter.html

They look more like smoke launchers to me, there are two more units on the back of the turret according to a model in the article linked above.  It marks them as "система постановки завес", "sistema postanovki zaves" or "curtain setting sytem" according to Google. 

There are different versions of Epokha (Epoch). The one Sgt. Squarehead is talking about is this one. Unfortunately information about Bulat is classified :(

1582637412_7.jpg

ARMY2017-Static-part5-059_d_850.jpg

bmp3_d_850.jpg

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6 hours ago, fireship4 said:

Still has APFDS round though apparently!

LShO-57 used to be no more than an AGL with muzzle velocity of mere 300 m/s just few years ago so I wonder what's the point of developing an APFSDS apart from getting R&D budgets from Russian MoD :)

1636728_1000.jpg

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16 hours ago, fireship4 said:

Still has APFDS round though apparently!

Seems I was totally wrong about AP(FS?)DS. Judging from the case volume the muzzle energy of this round must be VASTLY higher than HEFRAG's so it ought to have a decent penetration.

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2 hours ago, fireship4 said:

"FS"= "Fin stabilised", which it is, judging from the picture, and assuming the picture is of what we are talking about.

In official docs that are out in the wild AP round is pointedly named APDS - no fins. There may well be two variants.

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