The Great Drone Lesson: What India could learn from Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia



They assess targets with greater precision, divide up tasks and execute them with minimal human interaction. A technology of the 21st century that was first used by the United States after the 9/11 bombings. They are called drones, and they are changing the face of modern warfare. Drones have helped win numerous wars in recent times; the latest being the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict where they proved tremendously effective against armour and artillery.The modern drone strikes were first seen when the US cracked down hard upon insurgents and terrorists soon after the 9/11 bombings. The last four years saw several countries using drones in their battles; Nigeria used drones against Boko Haram, Turkey used them in Syrian raids, the UK in Iraq and Syria, and the US in Libya.Fast forward to September-end 2020. Azerbaijan used its drone fleet to destroy Armenia’s weapons systems in Nagorno-Karabakh, enabling a swift advance. The six-week war left Armenia thinking of its air defense systems, many of them older Soviet systems, that failed to stand the new-age drones. A Russia-brokered peace deal was signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan on November 10.It is clear that the genie is out of the bottle, and every nation wants to own it. Prior to 2011, only three countries had armed drones: the US, the United Kingdom and Israel. Now, the armed drones are proliferating rapidly, with China becoming a major supplier.This leaves India to focus on revamping its military with this niche technology as it has two enemies to deal with …