MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Interior Ministry will buy two Israeli-built unmanned aerial vehicles in 2010, a senior police official said on Thursday.
Maj. Gen. Vladimir Lukyanov, head of the Interior Ministry Logistics Directorate, said the Israeli UAVs would be used for "special operations."
He said the ministry would buy certain other types of weapons and equipment abroad, but only in limited amounts.
The general added that "in literally one year," Russia would start the production of its own unmanned planes, on a par with Israeli versions.
The Russian Defense Ministry has already bought 12 Israeli UAVs in a deal worth $53 million.
The Russian military has stressed the need to provide its Armed Forces with advanced theater reconnaissance systems in the wake of a brief military conflict with Georgia last August, when the effectiveness of Russian military operations was severely hampered by the lack of reliable intelligence.
According to various estimates, the Russian military needs up to 100 UAVs and at least 10 guidance systems to ensure effective battlefield reconnaissance.
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