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Russia to Build Mini Drone for Vietnam

RIA Novosti

11:24 15/03/2012

MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian warplane maker Irkut has signed a contract with Vietnam to build a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the Southeast Asian country, Izvestia daily reported on Thursday.

The $10 million deal, with Vietnam Aerospace Association (VASA), was signed on Wednesday, Yury Malov, head of the Irkut Engineering, Irkut's subsidiary, told Izvestia.

The firm will build a 100-kilogram mini-drone, as well as transmitting and remote control systems to operate it. It will also help "teach the Vietnamese side how to maintain and use the drones" until VASA "has had the experience" enabling it to build the UAVs itself, Malov said.

He said the UAVs are intended for civilian use but could "in future" be used for defense purposes.

VASA refused to confirm it had struck the deal.

Irkut has already built UAVs for Belarus.

Malov said Irkut may launch a "serial production" of UAVs for Vietnam should it like the Russian drone.

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