MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Minister has urged defense firms to speed up work to develop combat drones, a senior industry official said Tuesday.
Oleg Bochkarev, deputy head of the government Military-Industrial Commission, told RIA Novosti that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had issued instructions to this effect in July.
Several defense companies, including Sukhoi, Sokol and Tranzas, are currently working on unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), Bochkarev said. He indicated that the commission would like to see Tranzas’ one ton combat drone start tests by 2014.
Earlier this month, Russia’s Berkut VL helicopter developer said that defense firms in the United Arab Emirates and Russia would develop drones based on the Berkut VL – a superlight two-seat helicopter equipped with a Conver VAZ or Lycoming engine and a range of up to 600 kilometers.
Mikhail Pogosyan, president of United Aircraft Corporation, the holding that unites the Russian aerospace industry, said last November that Sukhoi would focus on creating reconnaissance and strike UAVs in the near future.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.