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Brazil to buy $350 million worth of drones from Israel

November 12th, 2009
Heron UAV

Heron UAV

Israel Aerospace Industries on Wednesday signed a $350 million contract to supply drones to Brazil police – marking the largest such deal between Israel and Brazil.

The deal was signed during President Peres’ official visit to Brazil, but negotiations began months ago.

The deal will be implemented in several phases, the first of which will include the transfer of three unmanned planes along with accompanying equipment, including a base station, control and inspection systems. This part of the deal will take place within the year.

The second phase allows Brazil to purchase 11 additional drones.

The drones in question are the latest model developed by IAI, which has been sold to other countries as well. This will be the model’s first use by a police force.

Brazil intends to use the drones to oversee its borders, which run approximately 60,000 kilometers, and also to prevent arms smuggling.

The unmanned planes will also help increase security in Brazil prior to the World Cup games in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

IAI has stepped up its operations in Brazil over the past year. About six months ago it established a joint venture company with the Synergy Group, whose operations include unmanned Aerial Vehicles, advanced systems, radar and antimissile systems.

About three months ago IAI conducted a successful test of its Heron UAV for the Brazilian federal police, for use in missions to fight drug trafficking and the theft of natural resources.

By Yossi Melman

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