Israel's Ministry of Defence is evaluating a Russian government request for a joint venture production facility in Russia for Israeli developed unmanned air vehicles.

Last year Russia purchased Israel Aerospace Industries BirdEye-400 systems. Now Russia wants to buy more Israeli UAVs, such as the IAI Searcher-3 and its Heron. Israel's MoD refused to comment but industry sources say for future purchases the Russian government wants to enter into a joint venture production agreement for a local assembly facility.

Israeli government sources told Flight International on 28 April that this is "a very sensitive issue" because of the close ties between Russia and countries such as Iran and Syria, and as such any decision is likely to be made at the highest levels of government.

Source: Flight International