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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Channel 2: UAV sale to Russia in exchange for freeze on S-300 sale to Iran

Channel 2: UAV sale to Russia in exchange for freeze on S300 sale to Iran
Dr. Aaron Lerner 24 June 2009

Israel Television Channel 2 News reported this evening that, with the
consent of the U.S., Israel is going through with the sale of advanced
unmanned aerial
vehicles (UAVs) to Russia in exchange for a freeze on the Russian sale to
Iran of the S-300, one of the most advanced multi-target
anti-aircraft-missile systems in the world today. According to Channel 2
News, the sale is very unusual as Russia does not buy foreign weapons
systems.

As noted in the article below, Russia is buying the Israeli equipment
apparently to copy the technology.

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Israel rethinks UAV sale to Russia
Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 22, 2009
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1245184901269&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Israel does not plan to sell Russia its most advanced unmanned aerial
vehicles (UAVs), defense officials said Monday, after a top Russian official
said that the 12 Moscow recently purchased from Israel Aerospace Industries
(IAI) would be used for study, to build similar models domestically.

In a $53 million deal signed recently, Russia will receive two models of
IAI's low-tier UAVs - the I-view MK150 tactical UAV and the Searcher Mk II
medium-range UAV.

In an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency on Monday, Vyacheslav
Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical
Cooperation, revealed that the main goal of the deal with Israel was to
study the technology in order to build the drones domestically.

"We must take their know-how and put it to practical use [in developing our
own craft]," Dzirkaln was quoted as saying.

Russia's interest in Israeli drones surfaced in late 2008 following the war
in Georgia, during which Tbilisi operated Israeli-made drones.

Israeli officials said that this was not part of the deal signed with
Russia, but that the possibility had been "taken into consideration," and as
a result the advanced UAV models and accompanying technology would not be
sold to Moscow.

"We have a responsibility to safeguard our ingenious technology," one
official said. "We were aware of this possibility, even though it was not
said explicitly until now."

According to Russian media reports, the military is planning on
manufacturing 100 drones and close to a dozen guidance systems that could be
used for reconnaissance in the event of a conflict. Until now, the reports
said, Russian defense companies - Irkut and Vega Radio - have failed to
develop an advanced system.

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