Managing Director Manouchehr Manteqi of the Iranian Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO) said Iran could be transferring its drone know-how to Russia after a request was made on the sidelines of the ongoing MAKS 2015 air show.
Iran unveiled its first locally made Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2010 and since then it has presented several types of UAVs with different potentials.
Manteqi boasted that Iran is “an advanced country” in drones after producing them locally. Tehran might have boosted its UAV technology after it captured a U.S reconnaissance drone in 2011. Managing Director Manteqi said among its diverse military drones, Russia wants access to the building technology of a specific one but declined to give more details because discussions are still going on.
Russia has not revealed what it intends to do with the Iranian technology but observers believe that it will further develop it to boost its military.
Iranian drones include Ababil, Fotros, Hazem, Karrar, Mohajer, Sarir, Shahed 129, Yasir and Zohal. Some of them can execute both combat and reconnaissance missions. Fotros can fly at an altitude of 25,000 feet and has a flight time of 16 to 30 hours while Mohajer can fly up to 3,000km.
There have been numerous announcements from Tehran claiming progress and breakthroughs in building military systems but critics had commented that it was a mere propaganda.
Russia and Iran are close allies and their cooperation has been worrisome for Sunni states in the Gulf especially Saudi Arabia.
Iran has already started the mass production of some of its drones such as Yasir since 2013. One of the advantages of Yasir is that it can take off without a runway.