Russia to spend $9.1 billion to purchase UAVs

Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:05 AM

MOSCOW, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that $9.1 billion has been allocated for purchasing UAVs.

The budgeting for the drones is contained in the state armaments program to 2020.

The Russian military currently operates about 500 UAVs that are used for reconnaissance, communication and signals relay, Pravda reported on Thursday.

The Russian army will soon receive new Orlan, Tachyon, and Aileron UAVs, among others. In December 2013 the Russian Ministry of Defense purchased 34 Aileron - 3SV drones from the Kazan-based company Enix in a $2.8 million contract.

Other Russian aeronautical engineering firms are also working on UAV prototypes. The Sukhoi design bureau is developing a combat UAV weighing 20 tons utilizing its T-50 PAK FA technology. The Falcon and Transas companies are working on smaller five-ton combat UAVs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month, "Drones are not toys and we are not going to operate them as other countries do. It is not a video game."

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