Unmanned AN-2s: Azerbaijan’s Unknown Heroes
Russian S-300 air defence system has consisted of missile launcher, radar system, communication system, command and control system. It is not easy to find the camouflaged system in a vast area unless its radar gets active.
Azerbaijani forces combined Soviet-era single-engine planes with Israeli-made “suicide” drones. Unmanned AN-2 aircraft flew in the sky to become a target. Russian-made S-300 air defence system became an open target when its radars got active.
MEE reads, “Azerbaijani engineers converted the aeroplanes into unmanned aerial vehicles by replacing the pilot with a kit that allows remote control.” According to the report, the An-2 would appear on the radar as legitimate military-grade drones and activate the S-300 systems. Once the radar is active, the Israeli-built Harop loitering munitions, dubbed ‘kamikaze drones’, would hit the Russian-made systems.
The article published a satellite image which was previously published by Russian media last October. The image indicated that Azerbaijan had moved 50 An-2 biplane aircraft to Yevlakh airport near the Azerbaijani city of Ganja.
Shushan Stepanyan, the spokesperson for the Armenian military, reportedly said on 1 October that they shot down an An-2 that didn’t eject any pilot, raising suspicions that it was being used as an unmanned aerial device, collecting information on Armenia’s air defences.
None of claims are new for the defence industry. Russian and Armenian sources have speculated formerly. The method however and the involvement of Israeli Harop drones were not unveiled from Azerbaijani sources.
It is worth noting that video images from the Armenian air defence system indicate a lack of training. A big, slow aircraft, flying at a constant speed without manoeuvre flies on the sky and local forces are unable to hit such a target. It requires them to function sophisticated systems.