Russian surveillance UAV
12/1/2012 Arie Egozi - israeldefense.com
Israel is examining the sale of defense systems such as large UAVs to Russia. The move comes after the softening of the US position regarding defense exports to Moscow
Russia has presented Israel with a long list of military systems it is interested in procuring, primarily from the Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI). A discussion regarding the list is currently being held, and it seems that there is a possibility that some of the systems will be approved for sale to Russia.
Russia has thus far mainly procured small surveillance UAVs of IAI production. The Russians wanted more, but faced a refusal stemming from Israel-US relations, among other things. The Russians said that they wish to establish a plant for assembly and production of Israeli UAVs in Russia.
Recently, following several high-level strategic agreements with Russia regarding numerous subjects, Russia updated its list. This brought about a renewed discussion concerning the export of several items, which were on previous and additional lists. Israel is working with the US regarding the Russian requests.
Sources explained that the US presently views China as its primary threat, due to its unprecedented military and technological strengthening along with various statements from the leadership in Beijing. As such, Russia is perceived as less threatening, which according to the sources, also contributed to Washington’s softened position regarding the export of advanced Israeli weapon systems to Russia.
Russia already expressed an interest in procuring large Israeli-produced UAVs and systems more than a year ago to improve its air fleet.
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