Gayane Abrahamyan, a former legislator, has posited the notion that Russia could be employing diplomatic pressure tactics on Iran to obstruct the delivery process. The reiteration of this assertion across multiple sources underscores apprehensions regarding potential geopolitical influences on Armenia’s military modernization initiatives.

Despite the widespread propagation of Abrahamyan’s conjecture, its veracity remains unverified. When queried for commentary in February 2024, Mehdi Sobhani, Iran’s ambassador to Armenia, refrained from issuing a direct response. Instead, he underscored Iran’s commitment to bolstering Armenia’s defense capabilities and stressed the significance of maintaining a balanced power dynamic in the region to sustain peace. This indicates a probable inclination to support Armenia’s military enhancement efforts, albeit without directly addressing the matter of the Indian supply.

The situation is further muddled by insights from analyst Tatul Hakobyan, who asserted that a Russian entity initially committed to providing Pinaka launch vehicles [potentially part of India’s consignment] but subsequently withdrew. Allegations then arose of Iran stepping in. Despite these intricate circumstances, India’s resolve to fulfill its arms agreement with Armenia seems unwavering, as ongoing reports indicate continued weapon deliveries.

Modernization Initiative

Armenia’s defense apparatus is undergoing significant overhaul, particularly within its artillery divisions, necessitated by the potential loss of hundreds of artillery units during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. To rejuvenate and modernize its aging Soviet-era artillery arsenal, Armenia intends to replace a portion of its obsolete equipment with India’s domestically produced howitzers, primarily the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System [ATAGS] and the Multi-terrain Artillery Gun [MArG] 155mm / 39 cal – BR.

Traditionally reliant on Soviet and Russian-manufactured towed D-20 and D-30 howitzers, as well as self-propelled Akatsiya and Gvozdika variants, Armenia faced the loss of an estimated 279 such artillery pieces during the 2020 conflict, precipitating an urgent need for upgrade. The ATAGS is perceived as a contemporary solution, designed to succeed the FH77B howitzers previously utilized by India. Offering a modern alternative to traditional towed artillery systems, ATAGS is poised to enhance Armenia’s artillery capabilities significantly.

The MArG presents a distinctive asset offering tailored advantages to Armenia. Mounted on a 4×4 wheeled chassis, its exceptional maneuverability stands out as indispensable for traversing Armenia’s rugged mountainous landscapes—a capability typically lacking in conventional towed artillery systems. Despite the Indian Army’s plan to acquire 307 ATAGS units, Armenia stands as the sole publicly announced purchaser of this artillery system. In a significant move to bolster its artillery capabilities, Armenia reportedly inked contracts in 2023 to secure 72 MArG units and 84 ATAGS units.


The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System [ATAGS] represents a cutting-edge, fully automated 155mm/52 caliber howitzer developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO]. Designed for swift deployment and enhanced mobility across diverse terrains, the ATAGS boasts impressive dimensions, measuring approximately 12 meters in length, 2.8 meters in width, and 3.2 meters in height, with a weight nearing 12 tons. Despite its considerable size and weight, the ATAGS prioritizes maneuverability, facilitated by advanced automatic gun alignment and positioning systems, sophisticated communication infrastructure, GPS-based navigation, and an automated ammunition handling system.

Regarding its armament, the ATAGS features a formidable 155mm/52 caliber gun capable of firing various ammunition types. With a six-round magazine enabling rapid fire, it can discharge three rounds within a mere 15 seconds. This versatility extends to both direct and indirect firing capabilities, augmenting its effectiveness on the battlefield. Highlighting its prowess, the ATAGS boasts an operational range of approximately 40 kilometers with standard ammunition, extendable to 48 kilometers when employing extended-range ammunition, bolstering its efficacy in modern warfare scenarios.


The Mountain Artillery Gun (MArG), a product of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO], stands as a lightweight, towed artillery piece tailored for swift deployment in challenging terrains. Boasting a 155mm/39 caliber configuration, the MArG measures approximately 6 meters in length and weighs around 4.8 tons, distinguishing it as lighter and more compact compared to conventional counterparts. This characteristic facilitates easier transportation and deployment, particularly in the demanding environments of mountainous regions.

The technical specifications of the MArG underscore its efficiency, featuring a commendable firing rate of approximately 3 rounds per minute. Designed for high mobility, it achieves towing speeds of up to 50 km/h on roads and 25 km/h off-road. Additionally, its rapid deployment capability allows for setup in less than 3 minutes, with an equally swift packing process for relocation.

The MArG is outfitted with a contemporary Fire Control System [FCS], comprising a ballistic computer, navigation system, and meteorological sensor. This advanced FCS facilitates precise targeting and optimal ammunition utilization, enhancing operational effectiveness. Additionally, the inclusion of a recoil mechanism mitigates the impact of firing, ensuring operational stability and equipment longevity.

MArG’s Armament

Equipped with 155mm shells, standard among NATO forces and numerous global militaries, the MArG accommodates a diverse array of ammunition types, including high explosive, smoke, illumination, and precision-guided munitions. Noteworthy is the MArG’s operational range, reaching up to 24.7 kilometers with standard ammunition and extending to 30 kilometers when utilizing rocket-assisted projectiles. This extensive reach, coupled with its exceptional mobility and rapid deployment capabilities, positions the MArG as a formidable asset in mountain warfare scenarios.

Armenia’s decision to integrate cutting-edge systems like the ATAGS and MArG, developed in India, represents a significant stride in its military modernization endeavors. These state-of-the-art platforms offer enhanced firepower, augmented mobility, and potentially improved fire control capabilities, surpassing Armenia’s conventional artillery systems. As Armenia initiates the deployment of these advanced artillery units, a notable enhancement in its artillery capabilities is all but assured.