The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is considering procurement of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from the UAE, an unmanned Russian defence industry source has revealed.
The source was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying, ”We are talking about at least two United 40 Block 5 models developed by the company ADCOM Systems.”
Adcom Systems chairman and United Yabhon 40 chief designer Dr Ali Al Dhaheri was quoted by The National as saying that Moscow has indeed expressed interest in the UAV.
"We will be presenting the aircraft and doing further demonstrations of it at the Moscow Air Show at the end of next month," Dhaheri said.
Powered by a 115hp main engine and an 80hp electric engine, United Yabhon 40 is a medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV designed to perform near real time (NRT) combat assessment, battle damage assessment (BDA) and intelligence preparation of the battlefield.
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Priced between $20m-30m, the UAV can also be configured for special operations, reconnaissance and humanitarian assistance, as well as border surveillance and communications relay missions.
United 40 is designed to carry up to ten air-to-ground missiles, four carried externally on pylons under the rear wing, and the remaining six on an internal launcher, with a delivery range of 60km each, while staying airborne for up to 120 hours.
Launched at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in February 2013, the drone completed its initial flight test in March.
Moscow is indigenously manufacturing aerial drones after Russian military operations were affected by lack of reliable intelligence during a military conflict with Georgia in August 2008.
However, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told in June that the indigenous UAVs were inferior to similar models manufactured by the foreign companies.
Moscow is currently believed to require up to 100 UAVs and ten guidance and control systems to ensure effective battlefield reconnaissance.