Israeli drones used by Azerbaijan under spotlight in new TV report

The TV report noted that according to foreign reports Israel has sold Azerbaijan drones over the years.

Local resident Lenser Gabrielyan, 65, stands on the ruins of his farm that was destroyed by shelling near the village of Taghavard in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, January 16, 2021. Following the military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and a further signing of a ceasefire deal, the village was div (photo credit: REUTERS/ARTEM MIKRYUKOV)
Local resident Lenser Gabrielyan, 65, stands on the ruins of his farm that was destroyed by shelling near the village of Taghavard in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, January 16, 2021. Following the military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and a further signing of a ceasefire deal, the village was div
(photo credit: REUTERS/ARTEM MIKRYUKOV)
Harop drones, a munition that acts as a drone but is also a warhead that slams into a target like a missile, played a key role in Azerbaijan’s recent war with Armenia, according to a report on Channel 12’s Uvda program.
War correspondent Itai Anghel, an insightful journalist who has covered conflicts in the region, went to Azerbaijan and the Armenian-held area of Nagorno-Karabakh to document the recent war. He noted that according to foreign reports, Israel has sold drones to Baku over the years.
Reports have revealed the use of the Harop, Orbiter and other drones. For instance, October Radio Free Europe noted that the conflict in the Caucasus was a kind of “debut” for “kamikaze drones.” A Harop even crashed in Iran, according to Armenian media. Azerbaijan praised the Israeli drones last September.
These types of drones, that can home in on air defense radar, or can be used against tanks, vehicles and personnel, are sometimes called “loitering munitions.” They come in many shapes and sizes and Israel has pioneered their use for decades. In 2018, according to the Drive, an Israeli Orbiter 1K was demonstrated to Azerbaijan forces.  
In producing his documentary, Anghel visited both sides of the conflict.
In Azerbaijan, his report, which aired Friday, showed a military parade with numerous drones. Azerbaijan’s leaders and soldiers, as well as ordinary people, praised the drones, which include the Elbit Systems Hermes 450, 900, the Harop and others. Azerbaijan put the drones on a pedestal in its parades, and some even said it might be good to have a monument to them.
This is a new kind of warfare where pilot-less planes do the fighting. They are often unseen as well.
Anyone who has been underneath surveillance and other types of drones, knows their haunting whirring and buzzing sounds. That is because many drones are not jet-powered, but use rotors or propellers. Soldiers may never see them, and most air defense systems do not have the capability to shoot down drones. This has been revealed when Turkey used Bayraktar drones in Libya and Syria against Russian-made Pantsir systems.
The full extent of how drones can be used to destroy a modern army was displayed by Azerbaijan in its two-month war against Armenian forces last September and October. It systematically suppressed Armenian air defense and then struck tanks and artillery emplacements. It also hit personnel, and in some cases, killed civilians.
Anghel’s report revealed the extent of drone use and shows how the battlefield was littered with pieces of these drones. In one scene, he and his team had to hide under a tree, wondering whether to run to take cover in a vehicle, or to stay put. Drones have good optics and can scan an area, which makes them ideal precision weapons and this can avoid mistakenly killing journalists and civilians.
But that is also up to the operator. While some drones work autonomously, there is a person in the loop when it comes to systems like the Harop, and others. Israel Aerospace Industries pioneered the Harop and the Harpy, which is used to seek and destroy air defense radar. It has been around for decades. Lighter weight and smaller versions of these drones are now revolutionizing warfare.  
Anghel’s report included a conversation with one of the Azeris who seemed to that there were hundreds of attacks using Harops in the recent conflict. Harops are deployed from a rectangular box-like cannister.
In Azerbiajan, music videos and parades have shown the cannister stacked on a truck in groups of nine, three on top and three tall, like a square. Several trucks could be seen outfitted this way, meaning a unit could launch a swarm of up to 27 drones at a time that would overwhelm an enemy and rip apart air defenses and armored units.
This is exactly what air forces have done in the past to support ground attacks and achieve air superiority. In the Gulf War, the US used helicopters to carve a route through Saddam Hussein’s air defenses. It also hit them with missiles. In Vietnam, the US used Grumman A-6 Intruder jets to suppress air defenses with Shrike anti-radiation missiles. Nowadays, drones can do this work.
The harrowing report show how drones are a menace to soldiers and civilian communities, and are transforming warfare.
Armenians were outraged towards the end of the war, angry about being targeted by Israeli-supplied drones and the documentary queried whether Israel supplied weapons to Azerbaijan and involved itself unknowingly in a conflict in which it has no interests. The somber end of the report showed an Armenian team seeking to find its dead close to the Iranian border, with Azeri soldiers assisting.
A question posed was whether the desire to supply Azerbaijan was fueled by Israel’s security concerns about Iran but it was left unanswered. From Azerbaijan’s point of view, however, according to Anghel’s interviewees, there is great adoration and praise for Israel and its weapon systems.