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Armenian Army Chief Touts Arms Acquisitions


Armenia - Lieutenant-General Artak Davtian, the chief of the Armenian army's General Staff, December 12, 2018.

Armenia has made major progress in modernizing and strengthening its armed forces in recent years, the country’s top army general said on Tuesday.

Lieutenant-General Artak Davtian, the chief of the army’s General Staff, touted ongoing efforts to provide the Armenian military with new weapons as he addressed the army’s top brass in Yerevan. They have produced “tangible results,” he said, according to the Armenian Defense Ministry.

A statement released by the ministry gave no details of the arms acquisitions cited by Davtian.

Russia, which has a military base in Armenia, has long been the principal source of those supplies, with Yerevan receiving Russian-made weapons at discounted prices or even for free.

Armenia and Russia reportedly signed fresh defense contracts late last month. They have not yet publicized financial details of the contracts or the types of military hardware covered by them.

Earlier in February, the Armenian military confirmed the signing of a Russian-Armenian contract calling for the delivery of four Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets to the Armenian Air Force. Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan said afterwards that Yerevan will seek to buy more such aircraft after receiving their first batch by “the beginning of next year.”

Moscow lent the Armenian government $200 million for Russian arms acquisitions in 2015. The weapons provided to the Armenian military under that deal included, among other things, multiple-launch rocket systems, anti-tank rockets, and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.

Yerevan secured another Russian loan, worth $100 million, for further arms purchases in 2017. The two sides have reportedly been discussing the possibility of a third Russian credit.

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