Israel and Kazakhstan Agree on Joint Manufacturing of Drones

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The Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Elbit Systems Ltd.
Elbit's Hermes 900.Credit: Bloomberg

Israel and Kazakhstan have agreed to jointly produce drones based on Israel technology, according to an announcement on Tuesday by the Kazakh defense ministry.

The announcement followed a meeting in Tel Aviv between Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Kazakh counterpart, Imangali Tasmagambetov. Before the meeting in Lieberman’s office, the Kazakh defense minister and his entourage, which included air force representatives, were welcomed to Israel Defense Forces headquarters by an honor guard.

The Defense Ministry in Israel refused to provide additional details about the agreement to jointly produce drones, as announced the the Kazakh defense ministry. Usually, the Defense Ministry reports on official working meetings with defense officials from other countries, but this time it reported nothing. The ministry’s spokesperson’s office refused to comment on the visit or the announcement.

The project is to be set up in Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, where Tasmagambetov served as mayor from 2008 to 2014.

While in Israel, the Kazakh delegation visited security industry factories belonging to Elbit and Rafael. The Kazakh defense ministry uploaded to its official website photographs of Hermes 90 drones, manufactured by Elbit, which they saw during their tour. Elbit advertises this drone as a central figure in the Israeli army’s war on terror.

The Kazakhs also reported that the two sides had agreed that Kazakh military personnel would train in Israel to operate the drones. The Israel Air Force holds an international course for drone operators. Last year’s course included members of the Italian air force and drone operators from the U.S. Marines. This year, German operators took part in the course.

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