Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Russian Military Servicemen are being Trained to Operate Israeli UAVs

Some 50 Russian military servicemen are undergoing training in the use of Israeli-built unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said. Earlier on Monday, Russia and Israel signed a military cooperation agreement."We have bought 12 UAV systems from Israel, and 50 servicemen are currently being trained to operate them," Serdyukov said during a meeting with his visiting Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak.

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 venture to produce UAVs, worth an estimated $300 million.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 their tests.
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