India to supply Armenia with weapons worth over $245 million
India will export missiles, rockets and ammunition, including indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers to Armenia to help defend itself against Azerbaijan, the Economic Times of India reported.
Sources told the Economic Times that the Defense Ministry of India signed an order for the arms export through a government-to-government route earlier this month.
While the value of the contracts has not been revealed, it is estimated that weapons worth over $245 Million will be sent to the country over the coming months, Economic Times said. India has been making significant efforts to increase weapons exports, with policy reforms and active support of the government to secure overseas orders.
Armenia is also set to get anti-tank rockets as well as a range of ammunition from India under the bundled deal, the report stated.
This is not the first time India is selling weapons to Armenia. In 2020, Armenia bought sophisticated radar systems from India worth around $40 million.
Armenia is a potential foothold for India
An opinion piece in Hindustan Times praised India’s position as “consistent, both principled and practical, in standing for peace” in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, praising the idea that India should support Armenia defend itself.
A deepening relationship with Armenia will help India economically and be an important geostrategic counterbalance to current trends, the article signed by Lara Setrakian said.
“In the competition over global supply chains, Armenia is a potential foothold for India in the Eurasian corridor, a pathway from the Persian Gulf to Russia and Europe. It can be a vibrant economic development partner for India in fields from agriculture to pharmaceuticals, manufacturing to high-tech,” the article said.
According to Hindustan Times, a partnership between the two countries could offer a shining alternative to the China model of debt-based development of small countries by an Asian superpower.
Military exercises of ‘Three Brothers’ advanced interoperability between them
“Armenia and India are also on the same side of the fight against terrorism and military aggression. Pakistan is an ally of Azerbaijan, sending men and military assets to help fight its wars. In return, Baku has offered geopolitical, geo-economic and geostrategic benefits to its partners in Islamabad. In 2021 the “Three Brothers” military exercises between Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan advanced the interoperability of the countries, leveraging their collective strength to help each partner achieve its respective national goals.
The article drew attention to the developing relations between the three countries and what it would mean to India:
“If Azerbaijan gets what it wants in Armenia, it will be a huge boost to Pakistan, with dangerous consequences. By attacking and then carving up Armenian territory, Azerbaijan wants a direct, sovereign passageway through Armenia, with no customs duties, security clearance or access by the Armenian side. It would be an unchecked, unfettered route that connects Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and the entire bloc of Turkic-aligned countries, all the way to China. Weapons, materials and cargo could pass through, to the gates of Kashmir. China is investing heavily, as a partner to Turkey and Azerbaijan, to develop this route.”
“India should do everything in its power to prevent that from happening,” the article concluded.