Russia to build mini UAV drones

March 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

MOSCOW, March 20 (UPI) -- Russian warplane maker Irkut has signed a contract with Vietnam to build a small unmanned aerial vehicle.

Irkut subsidiary Irkut Engineering head Iury Malov announced the $10 million contract.

In partnership with the Vietnam Aerospace Association, Irkut will construct the 220-pound UAV as well as transmitting and remote control systems to operate it, Radio Golos Rossii reported.

Irkut has already built UAVs for Belarus.

Malov said the company will also help "teach the Vietnamese side how to maintain and use the drones" until VAA "has had the experience" enabling it to build the UAVs itself.

The VAA had no comment on the contract.

Malov added that the Irkut mini UAVs are intended for civilian use but could "in the future" be used for military purposes.

If the partnership prospers Malov said that Irkut may launch "serial production" of UAVs for Vietnam should it like the Russian drone.

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