Some time ago, in the comments on the publication devoted to the problems of air defense, I entered into a discussion with one of the site visitors, who, judging by everything, lives in Armenia. This respected resident of a friendly Transcaucasian republic took it upon himself to assert that everything related to the C-400 anti-aircraft missile system (proposed for export, including NATO countries) in general and the Russian air defense in particular, is the strictest state secret. And because of this, ordinary citizens can not be aware of the composition and characteristics of air defense systems, areas of permanent deployment of air defense units and places of deployment of anti-aircraft missile divisions in peacetime. Such a categorical statement could be partially fair in the days of the Soviet Union. But in the era of reckless trade with our newest anti-aircraft systems, the ubiquity of modern information technologies and the absolute availability of commercial satellite images of sufficiently high resolution, it is simply ridiculous to read.
In addition, it should be understood that Western “partners”, in whose economy we, despite our bellicose rhetoric, are making multibillion-dollar injections, are closely following Russian achievements in the field of air defense. Russian borders are monitored monthly by electronic reconnaissance aircraft recording the radiations of Russian radars, light stations and the guidance of anti-aircraft missiles, and reconnaissance satellites plying through space. Our “strategic partner” in the Far East does not lag behind the NATO countries. Quite often, reconnaissance aircraft of the PLA Air Force, stuffed with special equipment, built on the basis of Tu-154 passenger aircraft and Y-8 (An-12) airliners fly along the Russian Far Eastern borders.
Unlike Western countries, where open expert reports regularly publish information about the state of Russia's defense capability, the “Chinese friends” are in no hurry to share the data. But there is no doubt that in the West and in the East everything is carefully analyzed and appropriate conclusions are drawn. However, in general, in domestic and foreign open sources there is a lot of information that allows you to get an idea of the state of the air defense system of a particular country. The publication of intelligence obtained by the Western media is largely due to the fact that the military departments of the NATO countries, frightening the inhabitants with the “Russian threat”, are thus knocking out additional funding. Based on the above, today, as an example, we specifically for the visitors of the Military Survey, sincerely believing that in the modern world you can hide the number, characteristics and locations of anti-aircraft systems, consider the state of the Armenian air defense system, relying solely on open public sources.
Historically, Armenia has close political, economic and cultural ties with Russia. It can be stated with complete confidence that after the collapse of the USSR, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia were largely preserved thanks to diplomatic and military support from the Russian Federation. Armenia still has unresolved territorial disputes with Azerbaijan, and diplomatic relations have not been established with Turkey. Being one of the first Christian countries, Armenia borders on Turkey from the west, from Azerbaijan to the east, and from Iran to the south. These Islamic countries are many times superior to Armenia in economic, industrial and military potential. At the same time, only on the Armenian-Iranian border can the situation be considered calm.
In the last years of the existence of the USSR, an ethno-political conflict began to flare up between Armenia and Azerbaijan. He had a long cultural, political and historical roots, and if during the years of "stagnation" nationalist protests were severely suppressed, then after the beginning of "perestroika" the enmity between Armenians and Azerbaijanis took open forms.
In 1991-1994, the confrontation escalated into large-scale hostilities for control of Nagorno-Karabakh and some adjacent territories. During the battles, armored vehicles, artillery, MLRS and combat were actively used aviation. The superiority of the Azerbaijani side in the air led to the fact that the Armenian armed forces began to actively build up their air defense capabilities. The weapons at the first stage of the war were the warehouses of the 366th motorized rifle regiment stationed in Stepanakert. Initially, the militia had 23 mm anti-aircraft guns, as well as 14,5 and 12,7 mm machine guns. The greatest threat to aircraft and helicopters was represented by four ZSU-23-4 Shilka and MANPADS Strela-2M. The first combat success was achieved by Armenian anti-aircraft gunners on January 28, 1992, when an Azerbaijani Mi-8 was shot down from MANPADS. By the autumn of 1993, several anti-aircraft batteries of 57-mm S-60 guns with RPK-1 "Vaza" gun-guided radar and several dozens of MANPADS had already been deployed in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
After the transfer of property, military equipment and weapons of the 7 Army of the Transcaucasian Military District and the 96 Air Defense Missile Brigade of the 19 Army of Air Defense, deployed in Armenia, the combat potential of the air defense in the conflict zone sharply increased. According to the data published by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), by the middle of 1994, Russia had transferred the Krug-М1 and Kuba medium-range mobile air defense systems to the Armenian armed forces, and the Strela-1 short-range mobile complexes 10 ”and“ Osa-AKM ”, MANPADS“ Strela-2M ”and“ Needle-1 ”, as well as ZSU-23-4“ Shilka ”, anti-aircraft artillery ZU-23 and С-60. Object defense was reinforced by several anti-aircraft missile divisions C-125M and C-75М3. Monitoring of the airspace of the Republic and the issuance of target designation of air defense systems was carried out by radars: П-12М, П-14, П-15, П-18, П-19, П-35, П-37, П-40 and radio height meters: PRV-9, PRV-11, PRV-13, PRV-16.
After the Armenian forces received modern anti-aircraft armament, the combat aircraft of the Azerbaijani Air Force could no longer piracy in the sky of Nagorno-Karabakh with impunity, which immediately affected the course of hostilities. Mobile air defense systems were delivered through the Lachin corridor between Armenia and Artsakh.
Position of the Circle-M1 air defense system in Nagorno-Karabakh
Some sources write about sending the battery of the Krug-М1 air defense system from the 59-th anti-aircraft brigade deployed during the Soviet era in Artik to the combat zone. At the same time, in open sources there are photographs of the positions of the Kub anti-aircraft missile system deployed near Stepanakert.
The position of the Cube "Kub" in Nagorno-Karabakh
There is no doubt that short-range mobile anti-aircraft missile systems and the Shilka ZSU-23-4 were also deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh. In addition to armored vehicles and artillery systems, the 9 of May 1995 of the year during the military parade in Stepanakert were demonstrated the Osa-AKM air defense missile system, the Krug self-propelled launcher and several transport-charging vehicles based on ZIL-131 missiles for the C-125M air defense missile system.
According to the data published in Armenia, before the conclusion of an armistice in 1994, the Azerbaijani air forces lost 20 combat aircraft, including: Su-25, Su-17, MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, L-29 and L-39 , as well as 18 helicopters Mi-8 and Mi-24. Azerbaijan has confirmed the loss of 10 aircraft.
The wreckage of the downed Azerbaijani Su-25
No reliable details on the use of medium-range air defense systems in the Transcaucasus were published in open sources, but it is known that on March 17 in the vicinity of Stepanakert, Armenian air defense forces accidentally destroyed the Iranian military transport aircraft C-1994 flying at an altitude inaccessible to small complexes range. Iranian “Hercules” transported families of Iranian diplomats from Moscow to Tehran. As stated later in Armenia, Azerbaijani dispatchers deliberately sent a transport worker to the area of hostilities. As a result of the tragedy, 130 people died, including women and children.
Unfortunately, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is far from over. On the line of demarcation, there is a regular exchange of fire and various kinds of provocations. Recently, Azerbaijan has been using unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance and strikes against positions of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army, which keeps the air defense units in tension. Thus, 4 March 2017, approximately in 12: 15 local time, on the eastern part of the Karabakh-Azerbaijani contact line, was shot down by an Orbiter drone belonging to Azerbaijani armed forces.
Although the Armenian authorities categorically deny the official participation of the Armenian armed forces in the Karabakh conflict, it is clear that Nagorno-Karabakh could not stand alone against Azerbaijan, which was actively supported by Turkey. The air defense units of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Army have, if not new, but still quite effective mobile troop air defense systems: Osa-AKM and Strela-10, as well as numerous Igla MANPADS. In service is a few dozen anti-aircraft artillery and machine gun installations.
The airspace over Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories is controlled by the P-18 and P-19 radar. In a number of foreign sources there is information that at least one modern 36Д6 radar operates in the territory of the Armenian autonomy. Alert air and control air defense units is carried out by radio network and telephone lines.
Satellite image of Google Earth: the position of the Krug-МХNUMX air defense system on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh
Whether the Krug-М1 and Kub systems are in working condition at the present time is not known. These anti-aircraft complexes together with the low-altitude air defense system С-125М1 are mentioned by The Military Balance 2017. On satellite images for 2016 year in positions to the south-west and east of Stepanakert, you can observe the position of the C-125М1, "Krug-М1" and "Cube".
Google Earth Satellite Image: C-125М1 Positioning System in Nagorno-Karabakh
At the moment, mobile military air defense systems on the crawler "Circle" and "Cube", inherited by the independent republics after the collapse of the USSR, have been almost completely decommissioned due to the development of the resource. In the Russian armed forces, the last “Circle-M1” was written off in 2006. By that moment, the complex, in the apparatus of which the lamp element base was used, no longer met the modern requirements for noise immunity. Missiles with direct-flow engines that worked on kerosene, because of cracking soft rubber fuel tanks flowed, and their operation was extremely dangerous in terms of fire.
Launch of anti-aircraft missile SAM "Circle"
In turn, the “Cube” air defense system, the production of which was completed in 1983, the warranty periods for the storage of anti-aircraft missiles have long expired. If for the allied countries of the USSR there were deliveries of fresh missiles, then in the Soviet air defense units of the Ground Forces, the Kub complexes were planned to be completely replaced by more advanced Buk-M1. Until the middle of the 80-x, new Kvadrat SAM systems were exported, which were an export version of the “Cuba”. At the same time, in the Soviet Army, in anticipation of replacing the new generation with complexes, they finished off the resource available to the troops of the Kub air defense system.
Self-propelled launcher 2P25 anti-aircraft missile system "Cube"
On anti-aircraft missiles ZM9M with expired storage periods, in the event of a change in the characteristics of the density of solid rocket fuel, it is impossible to guarantee the normal operation of a ramjet engine. In addition, the maintenance of the decrepit complexes in working condition requires heroic computation efforts. Practically throughout the entire post-Soviet space, the Krug and Kub air defense system was completed, and it is likely that the air defense systems, operating in Nagorno-Karabakh, are the last ones listed in the ranks.
There is no doubt that the Defense Army of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is in fact a part of the Armenian armed forces, and the defense of the Armenian enclave in the territory contested by Azerbaijan depends on decisions taken in Yerevan. There is also no doubt that the air defense system and the surveillance radars deployed in the area are fully integrated with the air defense system of Armenia.
The formation of a centralized air defense system in Armenia began in the second half of the 90-x. Initially, the main means of hitting air targets attracted to combat duty were the medium-range air defense systems С-75М3, low-altitude С-125М1 and military complexes "Krug-М1". The P-14, P-18, P-35 and P-37 radars, which previously belonged to the 19 Army's air defense units, were used to control the air situation over the territory of the republic and the border airspace of neighboring states. Since 1995, the Russian side has been providing the preparation of calculations and the supply of spare parts. At the beginning of the 21, the C-75 medium-range air defense missile systems with very difficult-to-use liquid-propellant missiles were gradually removed from combat duty and replaced with C-300PT / PS mobile anti-aircraft missile systems. The last C-75 complex, deployed south of Yerevan, was sent “for storage” in 2010.
Transport-charging vehicles of the “Krug” air defense system on the parade in Yerevan
Also noteworthy is the fact that a significant number of mobile “Krug-МХNUMX” air defense systems appeared in the air defense of Armenia, many times greater than the number of combat vehicles, originally included in the 1 zrbr. Apparently, at the end of 59-s, Armenia received additional anti-aircraft systems being decommissioned in Russia. The “Circle-M90” air defense system was located in the mountainous areas in the south-east of the country and in the vicinity of the settlement of Gavar, near Lake Sevan. The mobile troop complexes Krug-M1 carried combat duty approximately until 1. Now more advanced anti-aircraft systems are deployed in these positions.
Satellite image of Google Earth: C-300PT ground position south of Yerevan
The main forces of air defense are concentrated in the vicinity of the Armenian capital. Yerevan is defended by four anti-aircraft missile divisions of the C-300PT air defense system. This first serial modification of the 300-series with towed launchers was put into service in the 1978 year. Initially, only the radio command 5B55K missiles with a range of aerial targets to 47 km were included in the ammunition system. That is, in range, the first C-300PT version was even inferior to the C-74М3 / М4 SAM system. In 1983, the upgraded C-300PT-1 system introduced the 5ВХNUMXР SAM from a semi-active seeker which could hit targets at a distance of up to 55 km.
5P85-1 towed launcher of the C-300PT anti-aircraft missile system during exercises in Armenia in October 2013
In the second half of the 80-x, deliveries of the 5B55PM SAM began with a range increased to 90 km. These missiles could be used as part of the C-300PT / PS missiles. According to its firing characteristics, the C-300PS is similar to the upgraded C-300PT system, but all the launchers are located on the MAZ-543 self-propelled chassis.
5P85С self-propelled launcher C-300PS at the parade in Yerevan
In addition to C-300PT, there are two C-300PS in the Armenian armed forces. These anti-aircraft divisions are deployed in a mountainous area in the vicinity of the villages of Goris and Kakhnut, not far from the border with Azerbaijan. Obviously, self-propelled launchers make it easier to climb mountains along narrow serpentines than missiles on towed trailers.
Google Earth Satellite Image: C-300PS GMS Position in the vicinity of the village of Goris
The range of defeat of the anti-aircraft systems deployed in Armenia allows creating an anti-aircraft umbrella over the corridor connecting with Armenia and preventing the strikes of Azerbaijani aviation against the defensive positions of the Artsakh Republic defense forces. The satellite images clearly show that, in contrast to C-300PT around Yerevan, C-300PS divisions in mountainous areas of the republic are on combat duty with a truncated composition - the number of launchers in the firing position is much less than the regular schedule. However, most of the low-altitude launchers of the C-125 air defense systems are also not fully equipped with missiles. Apparently, this is due to the lack of anti-aircraft missiles and an attempt to extend their resources.
Satellite image of Google Earth: the position of the C-125 air defense system in the vicinity of the Yerevan-Parakar airfield
As of 2016, the 5 anti-aircraft divisions of the C-125 anti-aircraft divisions were on duty in Armenia in the year. In the past, a number of media outlets stated that Armenia was interested in modernizing its “one hundred and twenty-five” to the level of Pechera-2M. But, apparently, in the republic there were no free funds for this.
To cover the air situation in Armenia there are five permanent radar posts. In addition to issuing target designation to anti-aircraft missile divisions and fighter pointing, radar: P-18, P-37, 5Н84А, 22Ж6М, 36ДХNUMX and radio altitude meters PRV-6 and PRV-16; According to foreign sources, the P-17 mobile airborne detection stations, which were previously part of the Krug air defense brigade, are not written off and are now operated in fixed positions. Survey radars in Gyumri and at the Erebuni airbase are serviced by Russian specialists.
There is evidence of deployment near the Ashtarak city of the Sky-SV radar station. In the past, the C-125 and C-75 air defense systems were located near the road in the direction of the village of Karbi. Until now, missiles for C-75 are stored in the abandoned position of the military unit. According to unconfirmed information, the Periscope-VM 57-X6 radar complex was installed on Mount Aragats, specifically designed to detect targets flying in mountain conditions at low altitudes and in difficult jamming environments. At the junction of the borders of Georgia and Azerbaijan, in the vicinity of the village of Verin Akhtala, 5Н84А "Defense-14" and 36Д6 radars are deployed.
Layout of positions of air defense missile systems and radar stations on the territory of Armenia
According to the statements of high-ranking Armenian military, data obtained from radar stations located in lowland areas of the country are transmitted in real-time to automated air defense command and control systems. HF and VHF radio networks, as well as radio relay lines are used as backup communication channels. According to Western data, the central command post of the Armenian air defense system is located near the settlement of Hovtashat, 17 km west of Yerevan.
Assessing the state of the anti-aircraft missile and radio engineering troops of the Armenian armed forces, it can be noted that a significant part of the radars deployed in the country are new types. At the same time, the most up-to-date Armenian ZRS C300PT / PS are close to the end of their life cycle. According to data published by the manufacturer, currently 5B55Р / 5В55РМ anti-aircraft missiles are far beyond the warranty period of operation. In the past, representatives of the Almaz-Antey Aerospace Defense Concern voiced information that the designated resource of the newest C-300PS airplanes ended in the 2013 year. This will inevitably affect the level of technical reliability of anti-aircraft systems that are on combat duty. The problem of replenishing ammunition is very acute, since the production of 5ВХNUMXР anti-aircraft missiles for the Russian air defense forces was discontinued at the end of the 55s. Even older are the low-altitude C-90M125 SAMs. The serial construction of the “hundred-twelve” for the USSR air defense forces was completed at the beginning of the 1-s. Of course, the low-altitude C-80 is very successful and fairly reliable with proper maintenance of the complex, but its resource is not unlimited.
New transport-loading vehicle for C-125 SAM systems based on KAMAZ
It is possible to maintain the equipment of anti-aircraft complexes in working condition due to the supply of spare parts from Russia and the repair work carried out at local enterprises. An indirect evidence of the fact that Armenia intends to modernize the existing C-125 air defense systems is the display of new transport-charging vehicles based on the three-axle all-wheel drive KamaZ in September 2016.
Buk-М2 air defense system on parade in Yerevan
One of the novelties in the air defense of Armenia is the Buk-М2 medium-range mobile air defense system. Several combat vehicles loaded onto wheeled carriers were also demonstrated at a military parade in the 2016 year. The Armenian C-300PT / PS, as well as the C-125М1 and Buk-M2 air defense missile systems are listed as part of the Air Force.
In addition to anti-aircraft missile systems, which provide defense for strategic facilities and the capital, there are a significant amount of military air defense weapons in the Armenian armed forces, designed to counter aviation at low altitude. According to The Military Balance 2017, the Army’s air defense units have 178 short-range air defense systems “Osa-AK / AKM” on the wheel-mounted chassis, 48 “Strela-10” on the tracked base MT-LB and the same ZSU-23-4 “ Shilka. In addition, 90 MANPADS “Igla” and “Igla-S” and up to 400 of old MANPADS “Strela-2M” and “Strela-3” are mentioned. There are also several hundred 23 and 57-mm anti-aircraft guns and 14,5-mm ZPU in the troops and in “storage”. Part of the ZU-23 installed on all-terrain vehicles and lightly armored tracked transporters.
Armenian short-range air defense system "Osa-AKM" at the parade in Yerevan
It is difficult to say how reliable this data is, but in terms of the number of air defense systems of the “Osa” family, most likely, there are all the complexes that were once delivered to Armenia. With a high degree of probability, it can be assumed that for the 30 years that have passed since the end of the mass production of the Osa air defense system, a significant part of the complexes failed, and their real number in Armenia is much smaller. The same goes for the performance of 70-80's MANPADS.
It is no coincidence that in 2016, an agreement was reached with Russia to provide a tied loan of $ 200 million for the purchase of a large batch of modern weapons, including portable Igla-S and Verba anti-aircraft complexes. The decision to acquire MANPADS was made after another aggravation on the line of the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation in Nagorno-Karabakh. In the course of the hostilities, Azerbaijan used kamikaze drones and fire support helicopters to a limited extent. During the clashes in April 2016, the NKR's air defenses managed to bring down the Azerbaijani Mi-24 and several UAVs. In Stepanakert, they believe that this was a “combat reconnaissance” of the state of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army. With a great deal of confidence, it can be argued that the Azerbaijani side refrained from the widespread use of military aviation, fearing serious losses.
The maintenance of a proper level of combat readiness of the air defense forces of Armenia is achieved through Russian assistance and through the organization of repair and restoration of equipment and weapons at local enterprises. With the help of Russian specialists, the restoration and "small" modernization of the existing anti-aircraft systems and complexes have been established in the republic.
An example of Russian-Armenian cooperation in this area is the installation of a new system for digital processing of a radar signal using modern radio-electronic and computer technologies during reconditioning on the Osa-AKM air defense system.
At the moment, there are no serviceable combat aircraft in the RA Air Force capable of intercepting air targets. Budget constraints do not allow to purchase and maintain even the minimum fleet of fighters. The only interceptor formally listed in the Air Force is the former Azerbaijani MiG-25PD, hijacked to Armenia on 14, January 1993. But, judging from satellite images, for over 10 years this aircraft has been a “real estate”. The trophy interceptor MiG-25, located on the Shirak airbase, is placed in the parking lot, which stores the defective or outdated aircraft.
Satellite image of Google Earth: Su-25, L-39 and MiG-25 airplanes at Chirac airbase
At present, the integrity of the air borders of the republic is ensured by Russian MiG-29 fighters located at the Erebuni airbase near Yerevan. According to foreign sources, the 3624 air base has 18 single and combat training MiG-29.
Satellite image of Google Earth: Russian MiG-29 at Erebuni airbase
Judging by satellite imagery, the grouping of MiG-29 fighters, stationed in Armenia at the end of 1998, has been replenished several times to maintain a constant number, having exhausted their resources due to the decommissioning of vehicles.
Since the number of serviceable MiG-29 in the Russian Aerospace Forces is rapidly declining, it can be expected that in the near future heavy Su-27CM or Su-30CM fighters will appear in Armenia, more suitable for use as interceptors.
In accordance with the Treaty on the Legal Status of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation located on the territory of Armenia dated 21 August 1992, and the Treaty on the Russian military base on the territory of the Republic of Armenia dated 16 March 1995, the 102-I Russian military base was created in the vicinity of the city of Gyumri. The base operation agreement was originally concluded for a period of 25 years, and in 2010 was extended for another 49 years (until 2044), while rent is not charged from Russia. I must say that in the current situation, Armenia is vitally interested in finding the Russian contingent on its territory. From the statement made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, it follows that aggression against Armenia will be considered as an external threat to Russia.
The basis of the base was the 127-i motorized rifle division of the Transcaucasian Military District. The number of Russian military personnel at the base is within 4000 people. In 2006, the headquarters of the Group of Russian Forces in the Transcaucasus (GRVZ), as well as some of the personnel and weapons previously deployed in Georgia, were transferred here from the territory of Georgia. As of 2006, the most long-range air defense system of the Russian troops in the Transcaucasus was the Krug-М1 air defense system. But now this outdated complex has been replaced by a C-300В tracked chassis. Two batteries from the 988 th anti-aircraft missile regiment provide constant air and missile defense base in Gyumri.
Position of ZRS-300В in the vicinity of Gyumri
The choice of the C-300B is due to the desire to protect the Russian base from possible missile attacks of operational tactical missiles. Compared to C-300P, this system has great anti-missile capabilities. At the same time, the firing performance of the C-300В air defense missile system and the replenishment time of the ammunition are worse than those of the C-300П modifications, which are mainly designed to combat aerodynamic targets.
The reference data for 2015 states that, in addition to long-range air defense systems, direct protection of Russian motorized rifle and tank subunits from air strikes are provided by an anti-aircraft missile-artillery battalion, which includes 6 Strela-10 air defense systems and 6 ZSU-23-4 Shilka air defense systems. In October 2016, during Vladimir Putin's visit to Armenia, the President visited the 102nd Russian military base. At the same time, in addition to the S-300V long-range system and the Strela-10 short-range air defense system, the newest Buk-M2 medium-range air defense system was demonstrated.
In December 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan signed an agreement on the formation of a “United Air Defense System” in the Caucasus. Under this agreement, it is envisaged that the Russian and Armenian air defense and airspace control facilities will operate under unified leadership and exchange information in real time. As part of an agreement on the creation of a unified regional air defense system in the Caucasus region of the CSTO, Russia has pledged to supply modern means of communication and automated control systems. The free transfer of additional anti-aircraft systems is also envisaged, which should strengthen the air defense system of Armenia.
However, considering the balance of forces in the region, it is worth noting that Azerbaijan and Turkey, with whom relations with Armenia are far from friendly, have multiple military superiority and this imbalance cannot even correct the Russian military presence in the republic. If Azerbaijan in the current conditions is unlikely to decide on a military escalation, anything can be expected from the unpredictable Turkish leadership.
In the coming 5-7 years, in order to preserve the current combat potential of Armenia’s air defense, it will be necessary to replace the C-300PT / PS air defense systems and outdated radars, which are already on the verge of developing an operational resource. Given the fact that the financial situation of the republic does not allow for large-scale purchases of modern weapons, it must be assumed that this burden will be passed on to the Russian taxpayer.
At the same time, among the different strata of the population of Armenia since the middle of the 90-x there is a heated debate about the need for a foreign military contingent to stay in the country. Oppositional Armenian politicians voiced the opinion that it would be better to seek security guarantees from NATO. However, it should be understood that for the United States, relations with Turkey, which is a regional military superpower, are much more important. Refusal to provide the territory of Armenia for the deployment of the Russian military base, of course, will be a nuisance for Russia, but for Armenia this may turn into a national catastrophe. The Russian military, of course, will not intervene in the conflict on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, but there is no doubt that they will fight on the side of Yerevan in the event of an attack by Azerbaijan or Turkey on Armenia itself. At present, the deployment of the Russian military contingent in Armenia is a stabilizing factor in the region. Moscow provides Yerevan with an “anti-aircraft umbrella”, from which it has no reason to refuse. Russia is not going to encroach on the sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia, no one questions its independence, but ensuring its own security based on internal forces is inextricably linked with the need to expand and deepen the military alliance with Russia.