Russia, Israel sign spy drone deal
Apr 10,2009 00:00 by UPI

MOSCOW -- Russia has struck a deal with an Israeli company to buy intelligence-gathering drones, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.

Military officials said the three unmanned aircraft are needed to provide battlefield reconnaissance to the country's armed forces, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The deal was struck with Israel Aerospace Industries because Russian defense companies have been unable to provide the military with effective spy drones, said Vladimir Popovkin, who is responsible for military procurement.

Popovkin said buying drones built outside of Russia was a temporary measure and that the purchase was designed "to show our industry what it is," RIA Novosti said.

"We will rely on our own equipment to fight wars," he said.

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