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Azerbaijan’s Innovative Use Of Soviet-Era An-2 Aircraft As Part Of Its Drone Strategy

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Azerbaijan’s Innovative Use Of Soviet-Era An-2 Aircraft As Part Of Its Drone Strategy

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Since September 27th, there have been numerous reports of An-2 aircraft, used by the Azerbaijani armed forces being downed by Armenia.

To provide some perspective, the Antonov An-2 is a Soviet mass-produced single-engine biplane utility/agricultural aircraft designed and manufactured by the Antonov Design Bureau beginning in 1946.

It has high durability, high lifting power, and ability to take off and land from poor runways have given it a long service life. The An-2 was produced up to 2001 and remains in service with military and civilian operators around the world.

It is not exactly a warplane.

However, there could be several reasons why Azerbaijan uses this cheap aircraft so widely.

According to Izvestia, based on unnamed sources, Baku has the capability to modify an An-2 into a unmanned precision weapon.

For this purpose, biplanes are loaded with additional fuel and explosives and sent to ram enemy positions.

Azerbaijan’s Innovative Use Of Soviet-Era An-2 Aircraft As Part Of Its Drone Strategy

Click to see the full-size image

It is likely that Azerbaijan has turned it into a suicide drone of sorts – load some weapons on it, or some small bombs, and either have it drop them or have it ram into a target.

What’s more likely, however, is that it is a dummy target – it’s turned into a sort of reconnaissance UAV – it’s sent in first, being slow and cheap, it’s destroyed by Armenian air defense forces, which reveal their positions. These positions are then targeted by attack aircraft or actual combat UAVs.

Old aircraft are equipped with control drives and the simplest autopilot using satellite navigation, as a result of which such a device can fly along a programmed route and attack stationary targets.

Baku refutes this information, although it does not deny the use of other types of drones.

The destructive power of drones based on the An-2 can be comparable to cruise missiles, but the size and slow-moving speed make the aircraft an easy target for any air defense system, according to experts, also very obviously with the number of them being downed by Armenian forces.

The Armenian Ministry of Defense has provided video footage of the fall of two flaming An-2s, which collapsed to the ground side by side and almost simultaneously.

As in previous cases of the defeat of such aircraft in the conflict zone, the crew did not leave them with parachutes. In the first week of fighting, the video showed the destruction of three more aircraft of this type over the front line.

The journalists examining the wreckage of the biplanes did not find the bodies of the pilots in them.

The single information center of Nagorno-Karabakh reports about 18 shot down enemy aircraft, without specifying their types. Earlier, the Artsakh announced the destruction of Azerbaijani Su-25 attack aircraft and MiG-29 fighters, but all the debris recorded in the photo and video belong to drones and An-2.

Separately, there’s another option – typically, in military affairs, the An-2 was used for reconnaissance, communications and delivery of goods to unprepared sites.

There were also armed versions, which could hang bombs weighing up to 250 kg or blocks for unguided rockets. The plane managed to take part in dozens of armed conflicts around the world. In Russia, it is still used for the initial training of paratroopers in parachute jumping.

It is quite likely that Azerbaijan, with or without help from Turkey has managed to turn this mass-produced and cheap plane into a sort of precision missile, which is much cheaper than your usual cruise missile.

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d'Artagnan

The cowardly Azerbaijani rats and their headchopper mercenaries have suffered heavy losses and fled the battlefield.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmY1KmzyWxo&feature=youtu.be

Jihadi Colin

?

HitlerWasRight

comment image

Random Dude

Looks like Pashinyan, is that him?

HitlerWasRight

he could be one, he acts like one

Jihadi Colin

Aliyev looks like Erdogan’s younger brother.

occupybacon

Aliyev looks more like Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister brother, with Erdogan only cousins.

HitlerWasRight

Aliyev looks like erdogans condom

Degrelle

Looks like Putin’s mentor.

Whacko

Confession of Armenian captives. He had to fight in the front line without his will.
https://youtu.be/ed-mKAj1sd4

occupybacon

Are they beheaded already or converted to Islam?

Degrelle

Lol “confessions” from captured enemies during a war. So trustworthy.

mhtsaropinigitakis

armenia has no real airforce thats why azeris are having their time with the uavs…come face a real army with a decent airforce and the drones will be usless

Simplekindof Man

Surely not useless and comparibly sacrificable,but nevertheless with decent air defence not such a threat.
It will be like swating flies,not that difficult, sometimes frustrating,and some would inevitably get away if sent in swarms.

Jihadi Colin

They have no intention of facing a real army. They immediately apologised when one of their missiles hit Iran.

Fog of War

Hypothetical situations dont change anything on the ground. The Armenians had 30 years to get their act together.

mhtsaropinigitakis

you need moneys for that…

Fog of War

If thats the case then you should have returned the land a long time ago. Dont keep something you cant afford.

Degrelle

Their air forces are roughly equivalent but the main combat aircraft of both sides don’t seem to be being used at all. Just the Azeris using their drones and some support aircraft.

cechas vodobenikov

recently reported, azeri drones from Israel, turkey used by azeris quite effective. will they permit azeris to retain control of the villages they have ethnically cleansed in the less treacherous terrain in the south?

Random Dude

who is supposed to issue permits?

occupybacon

Me, Western Union accepted.

Jihadi Colin

I’ll bet you Erdo settles headchoppers from Idlibistan there line Uighurs in Jisr al Shughour.

occupybacon

Ideed, Turkey and Israel will try to suround Iran with headchoppers

Jihadi Colin

Right across the border from Iran. The CIA had it planned. This whole “Turkey is a maverick in NATO” is a false pretence. It’s just the plausible deniability arm of the NATO dirty tricks enterprise.

occupybacon

Not every NATO country is involved in headchoppers management, Turkey, UK and US, the last one slowly retreating from this business. Jihadis are in dirrect correlation with oil businesses as they lower the price of oil for export. USA starts to lose interest in ME oil.

Fog of War

Good cop bad cop.

Simplekindof Man

Whatever side you’re on,you gotta give it to the Azerbaijani for this one.
Why waste something that with minimal investment can reap huge benefits?
I bet you could do this with a couple of Arduinos (servos etc)…

HitlerWasRight

comment image

Fog of War

– Trump and Putin: Agents of Chabad-Lubavitch –

http://redefininggod.com/trump-and-putin-agents-of-chabad-lubavitch/

johnny rotten

It is not easy to transform these old planes into remote controlled drones, being governed by mechanical levers they would need something to replace the force of man, it is different from fly-by-wire aircraft that you can drive without effort, I guess it would need something like valves with actuators or who knows what else, it would still be a burdensome job, I’m not a technician but still I keep the doubt.

Jihadi Colin

The Germans back in 1945 turned old Junkers 88 bombers into Mistel kamikaze cruise missiles. If they could do that in 1945 I don’t see why Azerbaijan can’t do it now. Especially if they’re only using it as a decoy.

johnny rotten

It is very different:
“The idea involved the joint take-off of the two components, then guided towards the goal by the element of the upper unit, with the pilot who, above the target, would release the lower aircraft, while continuing to fly it via a remote connection until make it crash into the target. The most commonly used combination involved a fighter plane as a carrier to which a Junkers Ju 88 bomber was attached as the lower part via a specially designed cable and connection system, with a warhead filled with explosives in place of the cockpit.”

Jihadi Colin

And the pilot of the FW190 or Bf109 is replaced by a drone remote control unit. This *is* 2020. There is also no report of AN2s being used as kamikazes – such a slow and stable plane (it literally has no stall speed) would be a terrible kamikaze anyway. So all they are doing is send it like a remote controlled model in the general direction of Armenian lines and bombing anything that tries to shoot it down. Hardly Einstein IQ material, even I constructed radio controlled model planes in school in the 1980s.

johnny rotten

Your model does not require force to move the rudder and flap, the old An2 requires much more, just think about the force of the wind to overcome on the moving components, someone or something must provide it, even in 2020 the strength problems must be solved, they are mechanically guided planes, cables and levers to be operated, electronics are not enough, it takes much more.

Simplekindof Man

It really is nothing special,
Some imagination is all.

Fog of War

So in your opinion the Azeri’s are sending suicide pilots out in old , slow planes ? Come on guy.

Simplekindof Man

With commercially available electronics servos etc and a competent team,I would say this is doable in less than six months.
A couple of fast servos,worm gear box equipped etc.
For an educated bunch this is nothing.
Ps. Im not an aircraft mechanic,just an enthusiast.

Bruno Gama

Wow… The immense western superiority in “tech” that is making Azeris win…

Strategy…for god´s sake! Azeris have it, Armenia don´t. Simple.

Degrelle

The vast majority of Azerbaijan’s military is roughly equivalent to Armenia. Both sides have very small amount of equipment too, but the Azeris do have the Israeli and Turkish drones. Not that big a deal though.

“Western superiority in weapons”
Go back to CNN, these fairy tails don’t fly here.

rightiswrong rightiswrong

If the Azeris believe Armenia will fire off an S300 at that, then good luck to them.

A hand held launcher could take that out, ffs it flies so low and slow, an RPG could take it out.
Waste of a good aircraft, see what the Koreans do with theirs.

It requires having trained soldiers who want to fight btw, hence why the Azeris throw theirs away.

Random Dude

gotta be creative these days

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