Russia will test the Yabhon United 40 UAV, manufactured by Adcom Systems of the United Arab Emirates. (Adcom Systems)
WARSAW — Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has announced a program to spend about 320 billion rubles (US $9 billion) by 2020 on military UAVs, according to local news agency ITAR-TASS.
Under the plan, the new drones will boost the reconnaissance, communications and combat capacities of the Russian armed forces, according to the minister. Shoigu did not disclose the number of UAVs to be acquired. Presently, the Russian military operates a fleet of nearly 500 drones, the minister said.
The latest move follows last year’s announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin that UAVs are a vital area of development in modern aviation, and that Russia needs to develop a wide range of drones, including combat and reconnaissance variants.
The Russian military is set to test the Yabhon United 40 medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV built by the United Arab Emirates’ Adcom Systems.
Other foreign-based companies to supply drones to Russia include Israel Aerospace Industries, which delivered 12 UAVs to the military under a deal inked in 2009. ■