Παρασκευή, 10 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010

Russia's Federal Security Service 'happy' with indigenous UAVs


Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) is satisfied with the domestically produced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) it is using, a UAV maker said on Friday.

Vega CEO Vladimir Verba said the FSB was "quite happy with the quality of our equipment."

"The FSB is giving us new orders and we are cooperating successfully."

He offered no indication as to how many UAVs had been bought or ordered.

Verba did not rule out that the Russian Defense Ministry could buy UAVs abroad.

"There is nothing terrible about that," he said.

Verba said earlier on Friday his company would be able to produce UAVs able to compete with those produced abroad by 2013.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Thursday Russia would team up with foreign firms to manufacture UAVs on its soil.

On Monday the Defense Ministry said some 50 Russian military servicemen were undergoing training in the use of Israeli-built UAVs and that a total of 12 had been bought.

The minister said that alongside Israel, France could become one of Russia's partners in making UAVs.

Russia has reportedly signed two UAV contracts with Israel. Under the first contract, signed in April 2009, Israel delivered two Bird Eye 400 systems (worth $4 million), eight I View MK150 tactical UAVs ($37 million) and two Searcher Mk II multi-mission UAVs ($12 million).

The second contract was for the purchase of 36 UAVs, worth a total of $100 million, to be delivered later this year.

Russia and Israel are currently negotiating the establishment of a joint $300-million venture to produce UAVs.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said in April that Russia had spent about 5 billion rubles ($172 million) on the development of indigenous drones, which eventually failed tests.

Russian Air Force head Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said last November that Russian UAVs do not satisfy the requirements for speed, altitude and other specifications.


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