Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Comment on RFE/RL Armenian Service: Azeri Drone Reported Shot Down Over Karabakh

In article,, a response to a comment was sent in twice and apparently did not pass RFE/RL moderators. Below is the comment in question and my response.

US , : US
14.09.2011 20:19

The UAV appears to have been down due to a malfunction. Had it been "downed" by Armenia's army, it would have fallen into smaller pieces. Here we can see it in very large chunks. Also, REGNUM reported that the price tag of this UAV is "up to $18 million" - glad to see journalism standards here higher than at REgnum, because this UAV costs under $2 million. And Azerbaijan has 100 more of them.

My response (submitted 9/25/11 and 9/27/11):

One cannot conclude that this UAV could not have been downed by "Armenia's army" simply because it is in large pieces. A single bullet could have damaged the UAV and it could subsequently have exhibited characteristics of an on-board malfunction. There was no mention of it being hit by a rocket or other such ordnance which could have dismembered the UAV in flight. In any case, this is a political embarrassment for Azerbaijan.

Also, it is very unclear how much a single UAV costs because they are part of a much larger system. Without ground stations and supporting infrastructure, UAVs are useless, and I doubt any of us have seen the receipt given to Baku.