Azeri defence head gives exclusive interview discussing military modernisation programme

On 21 June, Azerbaijan’s defence minister, Zakir Hasanov, gave an exclusive interview highlighting the country’s military modernisation programme during the past seven years.

Full interview provided by Azeri CBC


The highlights of the interview below:

  • “today, 80% of Azerbaijan’s army consists of professionals (officers, commanders, etc.), 10% are civilians, and the rest [10%] are conscripts… Conscripts come and go, but don’t come to completely dominate them military hardware should be in the hands of specialists.”
  • Stresses importance of servicemen being free from everyday chores (cooking, cleaning, etc.), “servicemen should only think about military preparations” (sic). I remember myself as a commander in Germany, 110 people under my command, half dedicated to doing chores…
  • “90% of military infrastructures are military bases, training facilities, educational facilities… all either newly-constructed or completely renovated… I can state that the formation of a professional army is coming to an end”
  • Hasanov mentions that in April 2016, “only 20% of Azerbaijan’s military destroyed all of Armenia’s… Turkey and Russia share their combat experiences in Syria with us, we analyse modern combat situations”
  • On about military preparations, states “we know the territory where we will fight, objectives as well, training just needs to automated, so that this time if we start [it], we’ll be able to resolve all problems, particularly territorial integrity and historical justice.”
  • On air force, Hasanov stresses S-25 is main attack plane, well suited for combat in mountainous conditions as seen in Afghanistan. Adds, Azerbaijan is collaborating with “some European countries” and Israel to improve them (avionics, armour, weaponry, etc.)
  • Air defence units are very strong, several echelons of anti-air defence, with equipment from places like Spain, #srael and France, this last one “capable of detecting air intrusions from hundreds of km…”
  • Minister confirms what some Armenia military specialists stated, that during these past two years of relative calm on the line-of-contact (LoC), “we [Azerbaijan] used this time to carry out renovation work along the LoC, and have practically finished”

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