BLUF

Azerbaijan showed that buying relatively low-cost military drones can be an effective way of achieving air superiority.

Summary

The recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict provides a good example of military drone usage. One side Azerbaijan, was able to achieve air superiority in the battlespace using relatively low cost (5mUSD each) Turkish  Bayraktar drones. Azerbaijan, thinking laterally, also used drone technology to convert obsolete aircraft and to use these aircraft as decoys. When these decoys were fired on by Armenian air defence systems, Azerbaijan was able to locate and destroy those defences using drones. Once air defence systems had been destroyed, Azerbaijan was able to target and destroy Armenian tanks and artillery. However, worth noting that over the last twenty years, Azerbaijan has spent much more on military capability than Armenia. Drones were an important factor in Azerbaijan’s victory, but they were not the only factor, see:  Armenia was not ready for war and Why Azerbaijan Won.