James Warlick: "We expect meeting of foreign ministers to advance negotiation process"

Serzh Sargsyan: Armenia consistently fulfills its Francophonie commitment to popularizing the French language

Georgia negotiates with Gazprom to increase gas transit to Armenia

Yerevan hosts 31st Session of IOF Ministerial Conference

Gagik Harutyunyan's response to ex-presidents: People will make sober estimate of Constitutional Reforms

Bank VTB Armenia offers free use of Bank-Client system to its state and public non-commercial client organizations

Armenia to have a new air carrier in March 2016

Armenia's Deputy Defense Minister and Minsk Group's French Co-Chair discuss situation in Karabakh conflict zone

Matthew Bryza: Armenia's recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to suspend Minsk process

Government to recompense for damage caused to residents of near border villages by bombardments

Tension on border with Azerbaijan becomes obstacle for WWF-Armenia activity

Nikol Pashinyan still expects Government to respond to Serzh Sargsyan's accusations against Gagik Tsarukyan

Serzh Sargsyan congratulates Vladimir Putin on his birthday

Forecast: Constitutional Reform - an opportunity for external forces to seize political space in Armenia

Expert: Energy sector of Armenia may face a collapse and another energy rate increase will not be the last

Yerevan to host Duduk Festival

Warlick: Obama Administration Supports Royce-Engel Proposals For Karabakh Peace

"No!" movement to hold a rally in Liberty Square on October 30

Prosperous Armenia Party to discuss its "disobedient " MPs at Political Council's upcoming session

Rostelecom provides services to New Wave International Song Contest

Viktor Soghomonyan: Eduard Sharmazanov comments on what Robert Kocharyan did not say

Rostelecom extends application deadline for "Thank You, Internet 2015" contest up to October 15

Eduard Sharmazanov to Robert Kocharyan: Who founded the evil system the second president is speaking about?

WWF: Small-scale HPPs in Armenia do not prove their worth

Robert Kocharyan: Constitutional reforms to have rather dangerous consequences for future of Armenia

Vagharshak Haroutiunyan: Azerbaijani Armed Forces have no means to reflect Armenian missiles

  • by Nana Martirosyan

  • Saturday, August 16, 12:47

 Azerbaijan's leadership is well aware that Armenia's missiles are capable of hitting any facility in Azerbaijan and they have no means fore defense, the fromer minister of defense Vagharshak Haroutiunyan told RFE/RL Armenian Service. 

Despite its massive military buildup Azerbaijan still lacks the capacity to protect its strategic facilities against Armenian missile strikes in case of another war for Nagorno-Karabakh, the retired Armenian army general claimed on Friday.

Armenia and Azerbaijan threatened each other with devastating long-range attacks during the recent escalation of fighting along the border between the two states and "the line of contact" around Karabakh.  Each side claimed to be capable of destroying any target in the other's territory.

The Armenian military had made clear earlier that it will target Azerbaijan's vital oil and gas installations if Baku acts on its threats to reconquer Karabakh and the surrounding Armenian-controlled territories.

General Vagharshak Harutiunian, who had served as Armenia's defense minister in 1999-2000, insisted that the Azerbaijani army lacks the kind of sophisticated weapons that can neutralize such strikes. He said S-300 surface-to-air missile systems purchased by Azerbaijan from Russia in 2010 can only be used for anti-aircraft purposes.  "S-300 is a serious system, but it needs special missiles in order to be used for missile defense," Harutiunian told RFE/RL's Armenian service ( "Russia doesn't sell such missiles to any other state."

Azerbaijan may also possess Israeli missile defense systems. They were reportedly among $1.6 billion worth of weapons which Israeli defense firms agreed to sell to Baku in 2012.  Speaking about the Armenian missile arsenal, Harutiunian singled out Soviet-manufactured Scud-B systems with a firing range of 300 kilometers. The Armenian army also has more precise Russian Tochka- U ballistic missiles with a firing range of 120 kilometers.

President Serzh Sarkisian promised last December that Armenia will acquire more powerful weapons in the coming years. "One or two more years, and you will be able to proudly say that the Armenian army possesses weapons which other states 20, 30 or 40 times our size do not possess," he told soldiers at a military base in the northeastern Tavush province.

Some analysts believe that Sarkisian referred to Russian state-of-the-art Iskander-M missiles that can strike targets more than 400 kilometers away. Iskander was designed to overcome any of the existing missile defense shields.

"They don't aim to start war," Harutiunian said of Baku. "They realize that if a war breaks out they are not going to win. That is why they provoke incidents and sabotage attacks, rather than use heavy weapons.  They don't reach a point where a war is inevitable."

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)

Your name



View comments (0)

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields