Armenia Acquires Indian Multiple Rocket Launcher System Amid Delays in Russian Deliveries

Pinaka MBRL at rehearsal of Republic Day Parade 2011.

Pinaka MBRL at rehearsal of Republic Day Parade 2011.

There are cases when our country paid hundreds of millions of dollars, but the obligation to supply Armenia with weapons was not fulfilled, including by allied countries.”

The Armenian government has become increasingly critical over what it sees as a lack of Russian support in the wake of several incidents with Azerbaijan, particularly Armenia’s clashes on 12-14 September 2022 that resulted in dozens of service members killed on both sides. While Armenian officials have previously mentioned looking for alternative partners beyond Russia to provide security cooperation and other support, the accompanying excerpted articles offer a look at one way the Armenian government is dealing with a lack of support from Moscow. The excerpted article from Armenian independent news website Hetq reports on comments from Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan following an incident with Azerbaijan on 28 September. Pashinyan noted ongoing reforms of the Armenian Armed Forces and he blamed Azerbaijan for trying to prevent these from taking place. He went on to mention that Armenia “paid hundreds of millions of dollars” for new weapon systems from “allied countries,” but that these have not yet been delivered. While Pashinyan does not mention Russia as one of the allied countries that failed to deliver weapons, it remains one of Armenia’s most significant providers of weapon systems and equipment.[i] In the absence of assumed Russian deliveries, the second excerpted article, from India’s independent English-language news website The Print, reports that Armenia signed a contract with India in September to acquire the Pinaka multiple rocket-launcher system (MLRS) and that its order “would be fast tracked.” The article notes that the agreement includes an unknown number of Pinaka systems, ammunition, and anti-tank rockets. It also mentions that Armenia previously purchased four Swathi radar systems from India in 2020. As Armenia continues to carry out military reforms and prepare for potential clashes with Azerbaijan, the purchase of the Pinaka MLRS from India is an indication of what weapon systems Armenia believes it needs in the near term and demonstrates its willingness to look beyond Russia for supplies.


Lusine Akopyan, “Обязательства по поставкам оружия Армении не выполняют и союзнические страны – Н. Пашинян (Allied countries are not fulfilling their obligations of supplying weapons to Armenia – N. Pashinyan),” Hetq (independent news website in Armenia), 29 September 2022.

At a government meeting on September 29, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that yesterday the Azerbaijani armed forces carried out another provocation on the southeastern section of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, striking at Armenian units performing engineering work.

Engineering work was carried out on the territory of the Republic of Armenia, and the Azerbaijani units that opened fire were also on the territory of the Republic of Armenia…

“I also want to draw attention to the following circumstance. We have begun a large-scale process of reforming our armed forces, and Azerbaijan is trying to prevent Armenia from carrying out reforms in the Armed Forces with such provocations…,” Pashinyan said, adding that there are cases when our country paid hundreds of millions of dollars, but the obligation to supply Armenia with weapons was not fulfilled, including by allied countries…

Snehesh Alex Philip, “As tensions rise with Azerbaijan, Armenia buys Pinaka rockets & ammunition from India,” The Print (an independent English-language news website from India), 29 September 2022.

Armenia has signed a contract with India for procuring the indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers, unspecified missiles and ammunition, amid its growing tensions with Azerbaijan…

Sources in the defence and security establishment confirmed that the government-to-government contract, valued at about Rs 2,000 crore, was signed earlier this month and that the supplies would be fast tracked as per the requirement.

While the exact quantity is not known, the order includes the indigenous Pinaka system, ammunition and anti-tank rockets…

The ex-Soviet republic had bought four indigenous Swathi weapons locating radar in 2020 from India which was delivered in the backdrop of its conflict with Azerbaijan…


[i] See: Matthew Stein, “Armenia Acquires Russian Helicopters as Part of Armed Forces Modernization,” OE Watch, Issue #3, 2022. 

Image Information:

Image: Pinaka MBRL at rehearsal of Republic Day Parade 2011
Attribution: Government Open Data License – India

High-Profile Female Colonel From Russian Proxy Force Killed in Ukraine

“What makes you think that I am at war with Ukraine?  I am at war with NATO.”
-Colonel Olga Kachura, commander of the MLRS battalion of the 31st Motorized Rifle Brigade, 1st Army Corps, of the Donetsk People’s Republic

On July 29, 2022, Colonel Olga Kachura, the commander of the multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) battalion of the 31st Motorized Rifle Brigade, 1st Army Corps, of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) was killed by Ukrainian artillery.  Colonel Kachura had gained some notoriety as a female commander of an MLRS battalion and was posthumously awarded the title of ‘Hero of Russia’ by Russian President Putin.  The accompanying excepted article from official Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta features an interview of Colonel Kachura shortly before her death.  The interviewdescribes Colonel Kachura’s beliefs about why the war was justified, but also about the perceived nature of the conflict.  Colonel Kachura believed that the Ukrainian forces she fought were well-trained and well-armed by NATO and were also commanded by NATO.  Therefore, she believed that she was not really fighting Ukraine, but NATO by proxy.  While other combatants of the DNR and the Lukhansk People’s Republic may have different beliefs, Colonel Kachura’s perspectives certainly support the narrative of the Russian government.


Alexander Stepanov, “Последнее интервью Ольги Качуры: Фашистов будем бить, никого не спрашивая (Olga Kachura’s last interview: We will beat the Nazis without asking anyone),” Rossiyskaya Gazeta (official Russian Government daily newspaper), 3 August 2022.  

In Gorlovka, Kachura Olga Sergeevna, whom the entire Donetsk People’s Republic knew under the call sign Korsa, died.  A fragile woman with iron nerves and a steel character was the commander of the multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) battalion of the 31st Motorized Rifle Brigade, 1st Army Corps, of the Donetsk People’s Republic.  Quite recently, Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondents came to Olga Sergeevna at one of the positions near Yasinovataya in order to interview and film the work of the battalion.  She immediately said that she would not let us go to Gorlovka, under which her Grads were then working, because it was very dangerous there.  We interviewed, agreed to call later to finish shooting.  Did not work out.  The life of a remarkable woman and a talented officer was cut short. 

Olga, are you still the People’s Militia or the 1st Army Corps of the DPR? 

Officially, of course, we are the People’s Militia, but calling us militia is somehow ridiculous.  It’s more of a political play on words.  The name of the 1st Army Corps of the DNR is closer to me. 

I know that your battalion is thrown into the most dangerous areas. What are you fighting for? 

By conducting a military special operation against Ukraine, we continue the work of our grandfathers – we destroy fascism.  We have the right to do this not only morally, but also legally.  This right is enshrined in the UN Charter.  Thus, articles 106 and 107 of this organization explicitly state that the victors in the Second World War of the USSR, whose successor is Russia, the United States, Great Britain and China, have been given the right to apply all measures against the countries that fought against them to suppress actions aimed at revising the results of the Second World War.  This includes the use of military force against these countries.  To do this, it is enough to notify the other three countries, but not to obtain their consent.  Therefore, sorry.  We will beat the Nazis without asking anyone… Artillery is my creed.  This is my life.  It’s rocket artillery.  They even gave me earrings in the form of guns.  I haven’t taken them off since 2015. 

What was the beginning of the special military operation for you? 

This is what was expected for more than one day.  We’ve been waiting for this all eight years.  Prepared for this, studied.  Maybe even waiting too long.

You are opposed mainly by those Ukrainian nationalists who were born in the south of Ukraine, there are few Western Ukrainians among them. How can this be explained? 

Wait.  And where did you get the idea that I am at war with Ukraine?  I am at war with NATO.  The Ukrainian units include Ukrainians, Moldovans, Russians, Belarusians, Georgians.  Look at those defendants who were sentenced by the court of the DNR.  There are citizens of those countries who do not understand what is forgotten here.  There is no confrontation purely with Ukraine.  We are at war with NATO.  The territory of Ukraine is a springboard for hostilities.