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    Russia Forms Drones Unit in Far East Region: Defense Official

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    The Eastern Military District's operational control team has finished the formation of a military unit of drones in Russia's Chukotka.

    VLADIVOSTOK, December 2 (Sputnik) — A military unit of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) has been formed in the Chukotka Autonomous Area, in the Russian Far East, a spokesperson for Russia’s Eastern Military District (EMD), Alexander Gordeev said Tuesday.

    "The EMD’s operational control team in charge of developing military infrastructure in the Arctic zone… has finished the formation of a UAV unit. It is stationed at the Ugolny mixed-use military and civil airfield," Gordeev told journalists.

    By the end of the year the unit will be equipped with several Orlan-10 UAV surveillance drones, according to the spokesperson.

    "The first test-flights of Orlans at low temperatures are planned for the beginning of next year. Initially, the operation and maintenance of drones will be carried out in conjunction with the manufacturer, in the future — by the unit’s technical staff," the EMD representative added.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said in May that it would spend $9.2 billion on drones by 2020.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the establishment of a separate public body, responsible for the implementation of Russian policies in the Arctic, and a unified network of naval facilities to host warships and submarines, to reinforce Russia’s interests and borders in the region.


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