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IDEF 2023: Turkish Aerospace to upgrade Azerbaijan's Su-25s

An Azerbaijani Su-25 is loaded with a glide bomb during Exercise ‘Anatolian Eagle' held at Turkey's Konya Air Base. (Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan)

A contract to upgrade Azerbaijan's Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft was signed on 26 July during the International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) held in Istanbul.

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a statement saying the contract was signed with Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) in a ceremony attended by Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Defence Agil Gurbanov and Haluk Görgun, the head of Turkey's Defence Industry Presidency (SSB).

“The main purpose of signing the contract is the integration of Turkish-made smart bombs and missiles into the aircraft used by the Azerbaijan Air Force and the implementation of modernisation activities for their avionics,” it said.

It then suggested the contract has not been finalised when it said the Su-25 modernisation project is under consideration by the two countries' presidents.

TUSAŞ described the Su-25 agreement as one of three “modernisation co-operation protocols” it had signed, the other two being with local companies for upgrading Turkey's F-16 multirole fighters and E-7T Hik airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

Azerbaijan has at least one squadron of Su-25s operating from Kurdamir Air Base. Satellite imagery shows some were forward deployed to the newly constructed airbase at Nakhchivan International Airport during the war with Armenia in 2020.

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