- The Washington Times - Friday, May 10, 2013

Russia’s paratrooper unit should have full drone capability within five years, the nation’s air force commander said Friday.

Unmanned aerial vehicles “already exist within the reconnaissance and special oeprations sections, in the artillery and the air-defense sections of the airborne forces,” said Col. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, according to United Press International. “In line with accepted international practice, we intend to further develop the unmanned component of our forces.”

The Russian Defense Ministry will build its own drones, rather than buying them from Israel, he said.

In January, he oversaw tests on the Seeker drone, a Russian-made prototype able to fly for 40 minutes at 650 feet and costs about $95,600, UPI reported.

Work creating the drones experienced lengthy delays,” but all the glitches should be worked out within three to five years, the commander said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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