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Nagorno-Karabakh conflict a 'forewarning call' for Chinese military

ANI | Updated: Dec 13, 2020 10:27 IST

Beijing [China], December 13 (ANI): Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a timely reminder to the Chinese military that wars of the 21st century will be very different from the battles of the past.
The 2020 Azerbaijan-Armenia war is the first conflict in which drones deployed by one side turned the tide in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported citing an article (Naval and Merchant Ships) published by a firm that supplies the People's Liberation Army (PLA), "An alarming lesson from the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh concerns drones' transformation of battlefields, and shows China needs a carefully considered counter-strategy."
The article reviewed how the Armenian army was overwhelmed by enemy drones. Despite being superior to Azerbaijan in terms of conventional ground forces, including tankers, radars, and armoured vehicles, the Armenian army was easy prey for armed drones, notably Bayraktar TB2 drones that mounted precise attacks against targets in trenches and moving vehicles, reported SCMP.
The drones were also used for reconnaissance operations, helping Azerbaijan to force an Armenian surrender within six weeks.
"In the case of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the 'shield' to counter drones was not used effectively," said the Naval and Merchant Ships article.

"Although each side hit large numbers of enemy drones, neither had the capabilities to stop incoming drones from inflicting damage," added the article.
It went on to say: "Our military has a large number of drones of various types and is also facing the threat of advanced enemy drones ... compared with the drones we saw in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the drone threat confronting us is more technologically advanced, harder to detect and defend."
The article went on to suggest PLA that should increase its awareness of the threat from drones and incorporate it into its training and strategy. It suggested building a multilayer detection network with anti-drone radars, blind compensation radars, radio detection stations, and other infrared or acoustic measures "to seamlessly monitor incoming drones in multiple locations in a wide range".
Other than detection, it recommended tactics such as electronic jamming, using LD2000 ground-based anti-aircraft defence weapons, and scattering fake objects, reported SCMP.
Dragon is also known for its use of drones in the military as well as in surveillance over its own subjects, notably Uyghurs. They are now developing new drones with greater capabilities in terms of stealth, speed, altitude, endurance, and autonomy.
It has developed a new low-cost "suicide drone" that can be launched from a light tactical vehicle or from helicopters in a swarm to attack a target, Chinese media reported in October.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict had amply cleared the picture about how weaker militaries can deploy armed drones effectively to counter the supposedly superior force. (ANI)