Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Bombs From Baku: Cataloguing Azerbaijan’s Indigenous Air-To-Ground Munitions

By Stijn Mitzer
Unbeknownst to many, Azerbaijan has designed a vast range of unguided and guided munitions for use with its air force. Whilst it is unknown how many of these designs have actually entered service, it is certain that the design of air-to-ground munitions represents one of the more promising parts of the country's fledging arms industry. In addition to including a number of unguided bombs based on Soviet-pattern designs, several guided variants also exist. These use either laser-guidance, GPS/INS or a wing guidance kit to hit targets up to 65 kilometres away with high accuracy.
Several of the guided bombs have been designed in cooperation with Turkish companies like Aselsan. These types mate Turkish-designed guidance kits to Soviet-pattern unguided bombs produced in Azerbaijan. Contrary to their Turkish brethens, the Azerbaijani examples are designed to be carried by Soviet-era aircraft like the Su-25 and MiG-29. While the guiding mechanism and rear fins are exactly the same, Azerbaijan replaced the U.S. designed Mk.8x series of bombs with Soviet-pattern bombs of own production.
The result is essentially the same, highly accurate bombs that can be used by the country's fleet of some 30 Su-25 ground-attack aircraft and also by the Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), which the Azerbaijani Air Force is likely to purchase in the near future. With Turkey's own inventory of indigenously-designed bombs growing larger each year, it doesn't seem unlikely that Azerbaijan's arsenal is to grow with it. [1] This could one day also see the export of bombs to other operators of Soviet-era aircraft that seek to improve on their capabilities through the introduction of modern guided munitions.
(Click on the armament to see a picture of them)

Unguided rockets


General-Purpose Bombs


Guided air-to-ground weaponry

[1] Deadly Advanced: A Complete Overview Of Turkish Designed Air-Launched Munitions https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/01/deadly-advanced-complete-overview-of.html

Recommended Articles: