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Russia to strengthen UAS pact with Israel

Israel and Russia plan to jointly develop at least one type of unmanned air system that will meet the operational requirements of the latter's armed forces.

Two years ago, Moscow signed a roughly $400 million contract to purchase UAS made by Israel Aerospace Industries.

Deliveries of the company's BirdEye 400 and Searcher 2 systems are under way, while Russia has also built a new assembly/production line under the terms of the deal.

Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin recently expressed his satisfaction with the Israeli/Russian cooperation on unmanned systems, which sources say is part of a larger "strategic understanding" between the nations. This has also influenced Moscow's decision not to sell surface-to-air missiles to Iran, they add.

The joint development of a new UAS optimised for Russian needs will involve the transfer of technologies from Israel, and the adaptation of aircraft to meet operational conditions in Russia.

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