Elbit files lawsuit over Georgian UAV deal

Tel Aviv
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Elbit Systems has filed a lawsuit in the UK's High Court of Justice against the government of Georgia, alleging failure to pay for equipment supplied under several contracts signed in 2007.

The company is seeking around $100 million through the action, which Israeli sources say is linked primarily to deals to supply Georgia with Hermes 450 tactical unmanned air vehicles. Elbit has also been involved in a programme to upgrade the Georgian air force's Sukhoi Su-25 ground-attack aircraft.

According to Israeli defence sources, Elbit supplied five Hermes 450s to Georgia. Two of these were shot down by Russian fighters during the nation's military confrontation with Georgia in 2008, while another two crashed.

The Georgian army's use of UAVs during the conflict spurred Russian interest in unmanned systems, and Moscow subsequently signed deals to acquire equipment from Israel Aerospace Industries.