German expert: "Before the Karabakh war, it was believed that drones were not strong enough"
Ulrike Francke, a researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), commented on the active use of reconnaissance and combat drones in the Karabakh war to the German publication Stern.
According to Franke, who is working on issues of German and European security policy, the course of the final hostilities of the Karabakh war was "not so surprising if you carefully analyze what was happening," namely, Azerbaijan's approach to the development of the army. "In recent years, Azerbaijan has spent huge sums of money and modernized its armed forces accordingly," she said.
“In my opinion, there are several important points in this war. There is the fact of the presence and combination of drones of various types on the battlefield, it is a consequence of the development and proliferation of drones over the past few years. Now we have seen the results in action, which has made many states realize, that they need to invest more in UAV protection," the expert noted.
Franke recalled that the final stage of the Karabakh war wasn't the first case of using drones in hostilities, "but this is the first time when two states have used UAVs against each other - and it was something completely new."
ECFR analyst clarified that UAVs are an effective means of war only between small states. "The current generations of drones will not play a central role in a hypothetical war between major powers such as the US and China. In this case, other systems will be at play. But if small states are at war with each other, then drones are an important air-based systems. Look at the numbers: Azerbaijan and Armenia together have less than 50 combat aircraft. But if one of the sides adds 100 drones, then its air power increases significantly," she said.