The recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has many military officers still sitting up and taking notice. And they don’t like what they’re seeing. In the conflict, Azerbaijan used drones purchased from Turkey and Israel to great effect. It decimated large concentrations of Armenian troops and armored vehicles including T-72 tanks and advanced S-300 air defenses. It also used drones to scout out targets for artillery, rocket, and missile fire. Armenia was unable to counter the drones.

Azerbaijan’s armed forces were numerically and technologically inferior. Nevertheless, they achieved a decisive victory. And drones were a major contributing factor to it.

As a result, analysts, have called the conflict, perhaps mistakenly, “the first drone war.”

Armenia had older Russian SCUD and Tochka missiles, newer Iskander missiles, and multiple rocket launcher systems (MRLS) purchased from China, mostly incapable of countering small drones. Further, its drone fleet was homegrown, smaller, and only used for reconnaissance.