Gelendkhik, Russia: Russia’s Vega and Ukraine’s Motor Sich are discussing the possible delivery of Ukrainian-made engines for Russia’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Vega CEO Vladimir Verba said on Saturday. “We lagging behind on such vehicles,” Verba said. “First of all, there is a shortfall in engines.”
Motor Sich CEO Vyacheslav Boguslayev confirmed the companies are in talks.
“We are discussing issues regarding this topic,” he said.
Motor Sich delivers engines to 11 countries around the world, Boguslayev said, adding that “we have nothing against Russia being the twelfth country.”
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is “happy” with the quality of home-made UAVs, Verba said on Friday, while not ruling out that the Defense Ministry may buy UAVs abroad.
He said Vega’s UAVs would be able to compete with those produced abroad by 2013.
According to various estimates, the Russian military needs up to 100 UAVs and at least 10 guidance and control systems to ensure effective battlefield reconnaissance.
Russia has reportedly signed two UAV contracts with Israel. Under the first contract, signed in April 2009, Israel delivered two Bird Eye 400 systems (worth $4 million), eight I View MK150 tactical UAVs ($37 million) and two Searcher Mk II multi-mission UAVs ($12 million).
The second contract was for the purchase of 36 UAVs, worth a total of $100 million, to be delivered later this year.
Russia and Israel are currently negotiating the establishment of a joint $300-million venture to produce UAVs.
Russian Defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov has said that alongside Israel, France could become one of Russia’s partners in making UAVs.