Ecuador has unveiled its own domestically produced UAV, according to the Russian news network RT.
The vehicle, called UAV-2 Gavilan ("Hawk") will be used for anti-drug surveillance missions in remote regions such as the Amazon jungle. The Gavilan took five years to design, but it only costs $500,000 per vehicle, as compared to the $20 million that Ecuador spent in 2007 to buy six comparable Israeli UAVs, said Ecuadorian officials.
The Gavilan is made of carbon fiber and wood, and has an endurance of seven hours. Prime Minister Rafael Correa, whose government has had tense relations with the United States, said the UAV enabled a drug-laden ship to be captured last year. Ecuador plans to produce four Gavilans for domestic use, and export more vehicles later.