Russians test drone aircraft

MOSCOW, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The Russian military is testing Russian-made drone aircraft, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

The tests were carried out in the central Nizhny Novgorod region, RIA Novosti reported.


Russian manufacturers have made "significant progress" in drone design after initial failures in field tests, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.

Russia bought 12 Israeli-built drones for $55 million and is training 50 servicemen in their operation, the Defense Ministry said earlier this month. A second batch of 36 of the unmanned planes, worth $100 million, is to be delivered by Israel later this year.

Russia and Israel are negotiating a $300 million joint production venture.

Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said in April Russia had spent $172 million on developing its own drones.

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