Armenia dismayed over poor quality Indian-made military hardware

Armenia dismayed over poor quality Indian-made military hardware

Armenia joined the chorus of dissatisfied clients who purchased Indian military equipment for diplomatic purposes.

Media reports from the country quoted the former Armenian Defence Minister Arshak Karapetyan. He has raised serious doubts about the functionality of weapons procured from India, shedding light on apparent operational deficiencies that have persisted for a year.

“I don’t want to underestimate any country, but I have information that whatever weapons they brought from India, they have been out of order for a year now and they can’t do anything about it. I have reliable information. Yes, in Armenia it’s already out of order, they can’t service it, they can’t do anything,” Karapetyan said.

India disclosed it exported $250 million worth of weapons, equipment and stores including anti-tank missiles, Pinaka rockets, artillery guns and man portable anti-tank rockets. Other hardware includes 4 units of Swathi Weapon Locating Radars (WLR) in 2020, Akash Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) (deliveries underway) and six units of ATAGS artillery guns delivered in 2023 out of an order of 84 units.

ATAGS are 155 mm howitzers designed to be towed by trucks, but can also drive short distances under their own power, reducing the “packup” time required for moving the weapon out of position. The guns suffered multiple setbacks during their development, which began in 2013, with one exploding during training in September 2020. Several Indian soldiers were injured when a ATAGS gun barrel reportedly burst due to poor-quality steel.

This is certainly to exacerbate problems with the Armenian military, which has been routed by the Azerbaijani armed forces in recent years using Turkish and Israeli military hardware.

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It is not surprising as countries such as Nepal and several South American countries also faced quality issues with Indian made weaponry and helicopters forcing them to discard their use where possible.

Indian media is quick to point fingers at Chinese-made military hardware often distorting information or fabricating reports for quick TRP but when it comes down to quality deficiencies of defence hardware that are made in India they often remain silent.

India’s government offered Bangladesh a $500 million defence line of credit. The loan facility has not been taken up by the Bangladesh armed forces to purchase any combat hardware. India has desperately tried to make a dent into Bangladesh military’s inventory without any luck.

The last tranche of Indian made defence articles included a transfer of 18 refurbished 120mm mortars. Those were promptly sent into storage by the Bangladesh Army.

Indian companies such as Tata had better luck by selling some SUVs to the Bangladesh Army to be used for general duties by officers only after special diplomatic considerations were made after intense lobbying by Indian officials. Follow on orders were never exercised.

Bangladesh’s military inventory is dominated by Chinese, European and some Russian military hardware. The US, Japan and numerous other industrialised countries have tried to enter Bangladesh’s defence market in recent years. With such competition it is unlikely that India can make any major inroads.

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