Russia is now the world’s third largest UAV operator, employing around 4,000 units including Forpost-R (re-engineered IAI Searcher II), Orion-10 and Eleron-family (all of them domestically designed and built). According to the Russian MoD, its drones already performed 2,500+ flights lasting over 1,400 hours to pinpoint enemy targets.
The IAI Searcher II was captured in Syria and shipped to Russia for study and re-engineering purpose. Russia later developed Forpost-R drone and similar drones for Russia Army.
The UAV successes let to increased orders and even unspecified export contracts allegedly Iran. At the moment, just one figure was released from the Russian MoD that it is going to spend around US$15.5 million to procure the Eleron-3 lightweight UAV in 2019-2021.
The announcement follows a number of news and video releases in August-September that depicted experimental examples of the Altius-U and Forpost-R long-endurance reconnaissance UAVs undergoing flight trials. Also, the MoD released a video of the S-70 Okhotnik UCAV in formation flight with a Sukhoi Su-57 fighter.
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