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Georgia tests own UAV

April 16, 2012 at 8:20 AM

TBILISI, Georgia, April 16 (UPI) -- The first domestically produced unmanned aerial vehicle has successfully completed its first flight test, the Georgian Defense Ministry said.

The UAV, powered by a gas engine, is launched by catapult and lands with parachute. It can operate at heights of 360 feet to more than 9,000 feet, has a flight duration of up to 8 hours and a speed of 37-99 miles per hour.

Other features reported by the Defense Ministry include a payload comprised of a dual camera gimbal, a photographic camera, a thermal camera and infrared camera.

The ministry said the flight test was held near the capital Tbilisi "in extreme terrain and weather conditions."

Testing involved both aerial and ground tests.

Georgia has been operating UAVs acquired from Elbit Systems of Israel, procured under a 2007 agreement, according to news reports.

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