The 2020 Azerbaijan-Armenia War: A Milestone in Military Affairs

The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War has become a milestone in military warfare affairs.

The recently concluded six-week-long Second Nagorno-Karabakh War fought by Armenia and Azerbaijan was a milestone in military affairs, as it was the first conflict in which unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) won a war from the air.

Azerbaijan’s UAVs obliterated Armenia’s formidable array of ground-based air defenses, after which they systematically decimated Armenia’s ground force matériel, including tanks, artillery pieces, and supply trucks. This onslaught forced Armenia to accept a humiliating ceasefire imposed by Russia.

It is not entirely clear at this time how this feat of arms was achieved, but it appears that the key to the spectacular victory of Azerbaijan’s unmanned air power may have been electronic warfare that blinded Armenian radar, thus facilitating the destruction of its air defense batteries.

The war offered a glimpse of future battlefields on which unmanned weapons and electronic warfare might predominate. Countries such as the United States and Israel should learn the lessons offered by this war and prepare their ground-based air defenses as well as their combat aircraft forces accordingly.


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