Russian Army to get first indigenous UAV in 2014
Moscow: The first domestically-developed strike unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be put in service with the Russian Armed Forces by the end of 2014, a defence industry official said.
In April, the Defence Ministry issued a technical specification for the development of the drone.
The new aircraft is expected to have a modular structure and be able to carry various types of equipment and armament.
"St Petersburg-based Tranzas company has been ordered to start flight tests of the strike drone in the beginning of 2014 in order to put it in service by the end of the same year," the official said.
Details of the weapons load were not revealed, but the drone will weigh about a tonne.
President Vladimir Putin has said Russia must develop a range of military UAVs, including strike and reconnaissance types as soon as possible.
Russia plans to spend around RUB 400 billion (USD 13 billion) on UAV development in the next eight years.
Moscow has so far bought two Bird Eye-400, eight I-View Mk150 and two Searcher Mk.2 UAVs, totalling USD 53 million, from Israel.