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    Russian Armed Forces to acquire new drones in 2010 - Popovkin

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    ISTANBUL, April 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Armed Forces are to be equipped with new domestically-produced drones in 2010, a deputy Russian defense minister responsible for military procurements said Tuesday.

    "Russian drones not inferior to foreign varieties will appear in a year, no earlier," General of the Army Vladimir Popovkin said at the IDEF 2009 defense industry exhibition in Istanbul.

    The issue of insufficient modern weaponry, including drones, in the Russian military came to the fore in August 2008, when Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war after Tbilisi launched an offensive of its former republic of South Ossetia in an attempt to bring it back under central control.

    The lack of advanced reconnaissance equipment severely hampered the effectiveness of Russian military operations in South Ossetia due to an absence of reliable up-to-date intelligence.

    Popovkin confirmed Russia had concluded a deal to buy a number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel, which he earlier called a "temporary measure," and without specifying a figure.

    "Despite that, we have not stopped any of our efforts on developing them in Russia. We have maintained funding and concentrated our work in one place. I am personally leading on this," he said.

     

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