Kazakhstan is interested in Israeli drones 25 января 2012, 15:28
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Unmanned aircraft system. Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org
Kazakhstan is conducting talks with Israel on purchasing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), IzRus reports.
According to the news portal, the delegation headed by the vice president of the state holding Kazakhstan Engineering Vadim Shakshakbaev is now in Israel. The Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan officials also take part in the negotiations. It is planned for the delegation to visit the sites of two Israeli defense industry companies: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems. Kazakhstan side is particularly interested in renewing talks on the purchase of Israeli UAS.
IAI and Elbit Systems are among leading producers of UAS in the world. Moreover, the companies have some experience of working with CIS countries. IAI in particular, has a contract on aircraft supply to Russia.
In turn, Kazakhstan Engineering produces equipment for armed forces and oil and gas industry, as well as for the railroad transport and agriculture sector. In February 2011 Shakshabayev declared that the company discussed creation of a joint enterprise on military armor maintenance with Elbit Systems. It was reported that the project would be considered in 2012.
The visit of Kazakhstan delegation to Israel is potentially one of the signs of renewal of bilateral links in the defense industry that were ceased after a scandal around Israeli equipment supply into Kazakhstan in 2009.
Back then vice minister of defense Kazhimurat Mayermanov and commercial agent Boris Sheikman were detained. Due to numerous breaches of contracts with Israeli companies the damage to the state made 14 billion tenge ($93 million). According to the papers, it was planned to start joint production of newest artillery systems like Naiza, Aibat, Semser. These arrangements with Israeli companies were declared illegal. Later the court found Mayermanov guilty of committing corruption crimes, power abuse, bribe taking and exceeding his authority. He was sentenced to 11 years of the imprisonment. Boris Sheikman was sentenced to the same term.