Azerbaijan's JF-17 Deal – Will Armenia Counter with Rafale or LCA-Tejas Purchase?

Azerbaijan's JF-17 Deal – Will Armenia Counter with Rafale or LCA-Tejas Purchase?


The Caucasus region, a volatile crossroads between Europe and Asia, is once again experiencing a shift in its delicate power dynamics.

Azerbaijan's potential acquisition of advanced JF-17 Thunder fighter jets from Pakistan has triggered security concerns, highlighting Armenia's counter-moves and the wider geopolitical implications for the region.

Azerbaijan Upgrades, Armenia Seeks Answers​

Azerbaijan seeks to modernize its aging Soviet-era air force with a reported $1.5 billion deal for up to 40 JF-17 Thunder jets. This move reinforces lessons learned from recent conflicts in the Karabakh region, where the effective use of drones underscored the importance of air superiority.

In response to its 2020 defeat in Karabakh, Armenia has sought increased military support from India. This includes integrating Indian weaponry onto its existing Russian aircraft. However, Armenia's small fleet size may necessitate purchasing additional fighters to match Azerbaijan's growing capabilities.

India and France: Potential Suppliers, Uncertain Timelines​

India has been a key arms supplier to Armenia, but its own Tejas Mk1A fighters – a potential counter to the JF-17 – are in high demand domestically. Engine production bottlenecks further complicate any quick export deal.

France has also offered military support, with the possibility of supplying Rafale fighter jets. However, long production backlogs create significant wait times for Armenia.

The Wider Context​

Azerbaijan's JF-17 acquisition and Armenia's search for a countermeasure reflect the ongoing arms race within the Caucasus. India and France's involvement hints at the growing geopolitical interest in the region, where alliances and rivalries between larger powers often play out. The outcome of this fighter jet competition could significantly reshape the balance of power in this historically unstable region.

Conclusion​

The outcome of this fighter jet competition remains uncertain. Will Armenia acquire the necessary firepower to counter Azerbaijan's military advantage? Can India or France rise to the challenge, or will other players emerge?

The answers will not only define the future of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict but also set the stage for power dynamics and security concerns in the wider Caucasus region for years to come.
 
Armenia needs
  1. 1 sqardern of Tejas armed with Brahmos and ASTRA missiles.
  2. 1 sqardern of Rafale fighters armed with meteor and mica missiles.
Are you willing to finance the purchase, operation, additional manpower recruitment and retention, as well as the additional infrastructure for Armenia to operate these fighters?
 
Rafale and its armaments are too expensive for Armenia to stomach at all.

May be cheaper and reconditioned older Rafales may fit its needs.
Perhaps, since Armenians are sort of like French Catholics, and France hates budding Caliph Eeeerrroooddgan, it may offer deep discounts to do geopolitical checkmating.
It won't. Even refurbished Rafales are too expensive for them. Do remember that Croatia paid just over 100 million USD per used Rafale they purchase from France back in 2021. Even if you assume Armenia got the same deal, their annual Air Force budget will cover 5-6 Rafales and nothing else.
 
India can consider selling their mig 21- bison given tejas constraints
Even the Armenians will not use the MiG-21. Face it, there is practically no nation on Earth that will buy second-hand MiG-21s, with the possible exceptions of Syria (51 MiG-21s in service) and North Korea (26 MiG-21s plus 180 J-7s in service). Even so, those nations may only buy the MiG-21 for spares.
 
Are you willing to finance the purchase, operation, additional manpower recruitment and retention, as well as the additional infrastructure for Armenia to operate these fighters?
Armenia is a very rich country.
 
Absolutely not! Firstly, who is going to foot the bill for 40 more Su-30MKIs? Secondly, even if you assume we just give them 40 Su-30s, you do realise Armenia does not have the infrastructure nor the finances nor the manpower to operate and maintain 40 fighters, right? There is a reason they have never exceeded 20 fighters. That's about as much as they manage.

A better idea would be an offer to upgrade Armenia's 4 Su-30SMs to the Super Sukhoi Su-30MKI standard once that program is underway.
Your points are valid but upgrading Su30SM would also be out of question as Russia would never allow India to tinker it's lastest SU30 variant questioning the intellectual rights.
 
No matter what Azerbaijan is not going to buy the junk fighter at all. They have realised that the junk fighter is exactly junk. Every country that has bought the jet have complained about its inferior, problematic, poor technology, unreliable, poor avionics, poor engine, many defects, poor metal composition, poor and unreliable radar, lower jet life expiry date, software issues and poor weapons package that underperforms every time. Every country like Myanmar, Nigeria and even Pakistan have complained about the junk fighter and have grounded most of the jets because they are unable to perform as advertised and unsafe to fly.

If Armenia want to increase its air power then Tejas MK1A is the perfect jet for them in terms of its capabilities, weapons and price but unfortunately HAL have just started producing the jets and haven't got the capacity to ramp up production levels to continue supplying the jets to India and Armenia at the same time. The best, cheap and affordable plan is to either buy brand new Sukhoi 30 jets or Mig 29 but if it's still too expensive for them then they should buy any second hand jets that Russia can give them. Russia also has a squadron of old Mig 29 air frames which can be used to speed up manufacturing more if needed. Another option is to buy older and used Mirage jets that are still in good condition as many countries are retiring the jets now and maybe they could buy some older and used F16 jets from the USA or NATO allies.
 
If India gets the deal the money can be used for increasing HAL assembly lines.
 
Even the Armenians will not use the MiG-21. Face it, there is practically no nation on Earth that will buy second-hand MiG-21s, with the possible exceptions of Syria (51 MiG-21s in service) and North Korea (26 MiG-21s plus 180 J-7s in service). Even so, those nations may only buy the MiG-21 for spares.
only option for mig21 is to convert it into a kamikaze drone/unmanned remotely controlled fighter jet....
Even if it crashes in enemy territory its good, if it crashes locally no pilot life will be lost...
 
Your points are valid but upgrading Su30SM would also be out of question as Russia would never allow India to tinker it's lastest SU30 variant questioning the intellectual rights.
True, but I am not saying we do it today. HAL has planned to offer the Super Sukhoi upgrade to other operators (external circumstances permitting) once we have started on the program ourselves. At that point, we can extend that offer to Armenia's 4 Su-30SMs as well. In any case, such an offer is still several years away.
 
ISI paid agent under fake id
Do you actually have a better way of countering what Sudha said? HAL has a very bad track record, and unless they get their act together, export orders are very far away.
 
Armenia won’t be there if they wait for Tejas, it is better they get either Gripen or F16 Block 70/72, they can’t afford Rafale or Typhoon, may be we can upgrade Armenian Su-30’s to super Sukhoi and fit them with Brahmos, Rudram and Astra missiles and them Anti drone and missile defense systems along with Pinaka.
Acquisition cost matters to smaller countries. Even LM’s chief executive didn’t say that F21 (basically F16) will be cheaper than Rafale. He said let’s focus on lifetime costs and what not. So yeah sure, they can go for that super expensive plane.
 
If India gets the deal the money can be used for increasing HAL assembly lines.
If we do get that deal, it will be for a dozen or so Tejas aircraft. The profits from that aren't going to go too far if you want to upgrade capacity with it.
 

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