The TurAz-Falcon 2021 joint air force exercises between Azerbaijan and Turkey are set to conclude today in Konya.
The drills are part of a broader joint initiative by Baku and Ankara to deepen already robust military cooperation. Although Azerbaijan and Turkey historically enjoyed good relations due to cultural, linguistic and ethnic ties, Ankara’s robust diplomatic and military aid to Azerbaijan during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War revitalized the Turkish-Azerbaijani alliance. In line with recent developments, Baku and Ankara signed a memorandum of alliance to expand political, military and economic cooperation in June.
Considering the plethora of joint exercises and booming security collaboration, expect Baku to expand its arsenal of Turkish weaponry. Historically, the level of defense sector collaboration between Turkey and Azerbaijan did injustice to the special Turkish-Azerbaijani relationship, with the latter overwhelmingly preferring Russian and Israeli systems. However, the efficacy of Turkish-manufactured drones during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War changed Baku’s calculations.
Following several joint drills where the Azerbaijani military leadership examined Turkish weapons, Baku is likely to order new weapons. Ankara’s robust electronic warfare (EW) capabilities have piqued Azeri interest and although Turkey has yet refused EW system exports due to their strategic nature, an exception may be made for Azerbaijan.
Sinan is an analyst for the Current Developments Team and a regular contributor to the Daily Brief. A student of transatlantic affairs, he specialises in political, economic and energy affairs of Europe and the Middle East.