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Report: Moscow purchased 10 Israeli drones

33IAI’s Searcher III drone, exhibited on Monday at the iHLS AUS&R exhibition in Rishon Lezion. (photo credit:YAAKOV LAPPIN)

Russia has purchased 10 Israeli intelligence-gathering drones this year, an independent Russian newspaper reported in recent days.

According to a report published in Vedomosti on September 4, which was made available to The Jerusalem Post by Israeli journalist Shimon Briman, the Russian Defense Ministry purchased Israel Aerospace Industries-made Searcher-type drones, which are known as Forpost (Outpost) in Russia.

IAI has declined to comment on the report.

According to Vedomosti, the drones are to be assembled in Russia in accordance with a license awarded to Ural Work Civil Aviation factory.

The Oboronprom defense industry enterprise owns 48.6 percent of the factory, according to the report.

The report cited two aviation industry managers, as well as a figure close to the Russian military establishment, as the sources for the information.

Briman, an expert on Russian-Ukrainian affairs, described Vedomosti as a highly respectable business newspaper in Russia, which enjoys a good reputation and “relative independence from the Kremlin, as much as is possible.”

Forpost systems are used by Russia to monitor the Russian- Ukrainian border regions, according to Vedomosti.

In May, Ukrainian forces shot down two Russian drones over a conflict zone in the east of the country and retrieved the wreckage, publishing photographs showing the words “IAI” and “MALAT [UAV] Military Aircraft Group.”

One of the drones was struck by a special Ukrainian reconnaissance unit near the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, according to a Guardian report from the time.


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