Armenia is negotiating the purchase of a new batch of Russian Su-30SM fighters, said Defense Minister David Tonoyan.
"It is planned to purchase a new batch of aircraft. Negotiations are underway now," Tonoyan told the Armenian service of Radio Liberty on Sunday. He however did not specify by when the order for an expected 4 aircraft will materialize.
In 2019, Armenia bought four Su-30SM fighters from Russia. Yerevan announced that it plans to buy new aircraft from Russia.
He also noted that it is planned to establish private Armenian-Russian companies in the military-industrial complex in Armenia.
On August 23, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) of Russia told Interfax that the Russian Federation was ready to discuss with Armenia the supply of an additional batch of Su-30SM generation 4+ fighters.
"The work with the Armenian partners continues. The topic of the purchase of aircraft will be discussed if the Armenian side confirms its interest in this," said Maria Vorobyova, official representative of the FSMTC of Russia in comments quoted by Izvestia
Russia delivered the first batch of four Sukhois in December 2019 which helped set up Armenia’s air force. Armenia is expected to receive 12 of the 4+ Generation multirole fighters—enough to equip a full squadron—along with the necessary spare parts and munitions to match.
The Sukhois will serve as the backbone for Armenia’s first-ever operational fighter squadron. The Armenian Air Force’s inventory has thus far mostly consisted of 15 aging ground-attack aircraft besides helicopters in attack and utility configurations. Previosuly, air cover was provided by Russian Air Force MiG-29s stationed at the Erebuni Air Force Base.
Russia has always been the principal source of military hardware supplied to the Armenian army. Membership in Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) allows Armenia to acquire Russian weapons at knockdown prices.