11 Apr 2009

Russia to buy Israeli drones

8:23 am on 11 April 2009

Russia is to buy drones from Israel to strengthen its armed forces after a brief war with Georgia last year.

Deputy Defence Minister Vladimir Popovkin said on Friday a contract has been signed for the delivery of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Russian media report the deal is worth about $US50 million. It is with Israel's largest defence firm, Israel Aerospace Industries, which is state-owned.

The Haaretz daily said on Friday that the deal went ahead only after Israel received clear signals from Russia that it had no intention of selling S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran.