On June 26, the Azerbaijani Air and Air Defense Force displayed its recently acquired SOM-B1 long-range, high-precision, air-to-surface cruise missile, indigenously manufactured in Turkey. The SOM-B1 is designed for use against high-value, heavily defended targets with a range of over 250 kilometers and is equipped with a conventional 227-kilogram high explosive blast fragmentation warhead. SOM (stand-off missile) series missiles are designed for use from F-4 and F-16 platforms and are propelled by turbojet engines.
The SOM-B1 exhibition occurred as part of a military parade celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the country’s armed forces. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivered a speech at the event indicating he sees force as the only way forward in solving Azerbaijan’s decades long conflict with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory. He added his country will continue its intensive military buildup, which has seen Azerbaijan’s military spending increase 1500% since 2003.