UAV round-upRussian UAV industry lags behind

Published 5 February 2007

Country has not a single native model in series production; government buracracy a major hurdle, but so too is a seeming lack of interest from both scientists and generals; government announces its first purchase from a Russian firm

With so many countries expressing interest in UAVs these days — it seems just as many countries manufacture them as fly them — it is interesting to learn that Russia has almost no UAV industry at all. So reports Russia’s RBK TV’s “Intrigue of the Day” program, which sent a reporter to investigate an embryo project there scheduled to begin this year which will in some undefined manner support emergency services from the air. Those UAVs, the report noted, are being purchased from a Russian firm, “an exception rather than the rule.” Despite the fact that UAVs would seem to be of considerable utility in Chechnya, Russian interest is so low that there are no native models in series production.

According to RBK, “developers of unmanned air systems say that their usefulness has not yet been fully appreciated in Russia … the fate of unmanned aviation in Russia is more difficult than that of aviation in general.” Much of the problem is bureaucratic — the government has now spent seven years drafting the appropriate regulation — but there have also been technical challenges, challenges American engineers might smpathize with. “The problem is the apparent difficulties for the client in controlling the system.”

-read more in this RBK TV report