YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia demonstrated on Friday, December 27, for the first time four Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets which it has purchased from Russia.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan and other Armenian officials watched at an airbase in Gyumri their test flights carried out by Russian pilots. Pashinyan and Tonoyan then greeted the pilots and sat in one of the jets’ cockpits.
“Today is a very important day for us because state-of-the-art multirole Su-30SM planes, considered our main [arms] acquisition of this year, are arriving,” Pashinyan said in video remarks broadcast live from the scene.
“This acquisition marks a turning out for the security of Armenia and our people,” he added.
A Russian-Armenian contract on the delivery of the Su-30SM jets was signed early this year. The financial terms of the deal are still not known.
Tonoyan said in February that Yerevan plans to buy eight more such aircraft in the coming years. Pashinyan noted on Friday that the Armenian military has received their “first batch.”