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Former MP Gayane Abrahamyan has speculated that Iran may be under pressure from Russia to block the cargo. The fact that this assertion has been made repeatedly by different sources raises questions regarding how geopolitical actions might be affecting Armenia’s military forces’ modernization.

Although Abrahamyan’s conjecture has been widely disseminated, it has not yet been verified. Mehdi Sobhani, the Iranian ambassador to Armenia, declined to reply when pressed in February 2024. Rather, he stressed Iran’s support for a more powerful Armenia and the necessity of preserving a fair power structure in the area in order to ensure long-term peace. Although it doesn’t directly address the question of the Indian supply, this indicates a likely willingness to support Armenia’s military growth, according to Bulgarian Military.

Analyst Tatul Hakobyan has claimed that a Russian company first promised to deliver Pinaka launch vehicles (which might have been part of India’s shipment), but later withdrew, which appears to further complicate the situation. After that, Iran is said to have intervened. There are reports of continuous weapon delivery, which suggests that India is determined to honour its arms arrangement with Armenia despite these complicated circumstances.

The defensive forces of Armenia are changing dramatically, especially in the artillery divisions. The possible loss of hundreds of artillery pieces in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict makes this modification essential. Armenia intends to replace some of its antiquated artillery with indigenous howitzers made in India in order to revitalise and modernise its ageing Soviet-era armament. The two main howitzers Armenia plans to replace are the Multi-terrain Artillery Gun [MArG] 155mm / 39 cal – BR and the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System [ATAGS].

In the past, Armenia’s defence was mostly dependent on self-propelled Akatsiya and Gvozdika variants and towed D-20 and D-30 howitzers manufactured in the Soviet Union and Russia. There is an immediate need for an upgrading because estimates indicate Armenia may have lost up to 279 of these artillery pieces during the 2020 conflict. ATAGS is thought to be a contemporary remedy. Created

The MArG is a special resource that provides particular advantages to Armenia. With its 4×4 wheeled chassis, the MArG exhibits unparalleled manoeuvrability, which is essential for traversing Armenia’s difficult mountainous landscapes. Usually, this benefit is not available with traditional towed artillery weapons. Armenia is the sole known buyer of this artillery gun system, even though the Indian Army plans to purchase 307 ATAGS pieces. Armenia apparently signed agreements to purchase 72 MArG and 84 ATAGS artillery pieces in 2023, marking a major increase in the country’s artillery capability.

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO] has created the state-of-the-art, fully automated 155mm/52 calibre howitzer known as the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS). It is a towed artillery piece built for great mobility and quick deployment in a variety of terrains.

With its length of around 12 metres, width of 2.8 metres, and height of 3.2 metres, the ATAGS has astounding dimensions. It is among the biggest artillery cannons in its class, weighing about 12 tonnes. The ATAGS is made to be effortlessly manoeuvrable despite its size and weight.

Technically speaking, the ATAGS is outfitted with a GPS-based navigation system, a sophisticated automatic gun alignment and placement system, and a sophisticated communication system. It

The 155mm/52 calibre gun, which is the ATAGS’s primary weaponry, is capable of firing a wide range of ammunition. It can fire three bullets in less than fifteen seconds and features a six-round magazine for rapid fire. The gun’s versatility on the battlefield stems from its ability to shoot both direct and indirect targets.

One further noteworthy aspect of the ATAGS is its operational range. When using conventional ammunition, its maximum firing range is about 40 kilometres; using extended-range ammo, it can reach up to 48 kilometres. Because of its extended range and sophisticated targeting and navigation systems, the ATAGS is an extremely effective weapon in contemporary combat.

The Indian howitzer, also known as the “Mountain Artillery Gun,” or MArG for short, is a towed piece of light artillery intended for quick deployment in challenging terrain. It was created by the Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO] and is a byproduct of the Indian defence sector.

The MArG is a 155mm/39 calibre gun that weighs around 4.8 tonnes and is about 6 metres long. Because of this, it is lighter and more portable than many traditional artillery pieces, making deployment and movement in the demanding conditions of mountainous areas easier.

The MArG’s technical attributes are remarkable, since it can fire up to three rounds per minute. Its tremendous mobility—it can tow up to 50 km/h on roads—comes from its design.

The 155mm shells that the MArG is armed with are common issue for many other military worldwide as well as NATO troops. This makes it possible to use a variety of bullet types, including as precision-guided, smoke, high explosive, and illumination.

The MArG has an impressive operational range; with conventional ammo, it can fire up to 24.7 kilometres, and with rocket-assisted projectiles, it can fire up to 30 km. The MArG’s extended range, along with its excellent mobility and speedy deployment, make it an extremely useful tool in mountain warfare.

Armenia’s adoption of the state-of-the-art ATAGS and MArG systems—which were created in India—marks a substantial advancement in their efforts to modernise their military. These cutting-edge devices promise more mobility, more firepower, and possibly

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