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Israel Aerospace Industries signed a $350 million contract yesterday to supply drones to the Brazilian police - the largest such deal ever between Israel and Brazil.

The contract was signed during President Shimon Peres' state visit to Brazil, but negotiations began months ago.

The deal will be implemented in several phases. The first, which will be completed within a year, will include the transfer of three unmanned aerial vehicles along with accompanying equipment, including a base station and control and inspection systems. The second phase allows Brazil to purchase 11 additional drones.

The drones in question are the latest model developed by IAI, and have been sold to other countries as well. However, this will be the model's first use by a police force.

Brazil intends to use the drones to monitor its borders, which are approximately 60,000 kilometers long, and to prevent arms smuggling.

The drones will also 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 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.