Israel to supply Russian firm with drone parts

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Israel has won a contract to supply a Russian company with components for building Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries said on Wednesday.

The company said its CEO Itzhak Nissan and the head of Russia's Oboronprom, Andrey Reus, signed an agreement on Tuesday "to sell UAV assembly elements and services to Oboronprom."

The company's statement did not give details of the deal, but Israeli financial daily Globes said it was worth 400 million dollar (287 million euros) over the next three years.

The paper cited an unnamed Israeli defence official as saying that the drones in question were for civilian purposes only and would not be fitted with systems for military use.

Russian Trade and Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko was present at the signing, the statement said.

Israel is the world's leading exporter of drones, with more than 1,000 sold in 42 countries, earning about 350 million dollars each year.

© 2010 AFP

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