Syrian blogger Ahmad al-Haier has published photos of Russian UAV «Outpost» in the sky Syria, according to military blog bmpd.livejournal.com.
«Assumptions about the use of these drones in Syria appeared before. In favor of the version of the application is quite heavy UAV, equipped with a good electro-optical surveillance system, said the quality and stability of images, the footage, shown repeatedly press the Russian Ministry of defense,» – says the publication of the Russian expert in the field of unmanned aerial technology Denis Fedutinov, chief editor of the site UAV.ru. He also noted that earlier images of the UAV «Outpost» in the sky over Syria have not been published, noting that the present publication it is difficult to call «absolute proof of the use of UAVs in Syria.»
The UAV «Outpost» is collected for the Ministry of defense of Russia JSC «Ural works of civil aviation», the Israeli UAV IAI Searcher Mk II.
— Assembly of Israeli drones in Yekaterinburg. Photo report 2013
In September of last year it became known that the Russian defense Ministry procured an additional 10 complexes with UAVs «Outpost», which are assembled in Russia under license from the Urals plant of civil aviation of Israeli Searcher MkII UAV company IAI. The amount of the transaction in 2015, according to the newspaper «Vedomosti», was approximately $ 300 million.
The UAV «Outpost» in June of last year was presented to held in Kubinka the exhibition «Army 2015». Then it was reported that planned work on modernization in three stages. In the first phase, being implemented now, assume that you create a modification «Outpost.» The new version of the UAV will be equipped with a navigation system based on GLONASS. Also, the device will receive a new secure line of communication and IFF system. This updated UAV will be slightly heavier than the original – its takeoff weight will be about 500 kg. In the second stage of works is planned to create a version of «Outpost-R». It will be different equipment is available to relay data from the UAV «Outpost» and «Eagle», as well as on radio stations «Excitement». Also, onboard the UAV will be equipped electronic intelligence (RTR) with a range of up to 250 km. in addition, this version will be equipped with the necessary equipment to communicate with air traffic control (ATC). In the third stage it is planned to create deeply modernized and localized versions of the UAV. In particular, it is planned to supply UAV is a new equipment of reconnaissance and surveillance, including digital aerial photography (CASF) and the RLS of the lateral review. The instrument payload is expected to be installed in the universal compartment inside the fuselage (to 35 kg), as well as in containers on an external sling (up to 14 kg). At this stage it is planned to use diagnostics and service of the Russian production.
According to the Russian expert on unmanned systems Denis Fedutinov, the planned upgrading of the «Outpost» and the localization of the separate components appeared several years ago.
Recall that in late 2013 Ural civil aviation plant has completed the contract for Assembly of UAV Searcher MkII and BirdEye 400 the development of the Israeli company Israel Aerospace Industries commissioned by the Russian Ministry of defence.
The contract on assembling of unmanned systems was signed in 2010, the Russian Corporation Oboronprom and the Israeli company IAI. The cost was 400 million dollars. As a production site was chosen UZGA plant, partially owned by «Oboronprom». Previously the company mainly engaged in the repair of aircraft engines.
«Automated transaction» with Israel has caused ambiguous reaction in Russia. This decision has been criticized by some Russian politicians and experts in aeronautical technology. Israel refused the deal to supply Russia with more modern, including attack UAVs. In 2012, after the change of leadership of the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation, the Russian media wrote about the possible end of cooperation between Israel and Russia in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles. The new Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu then said that from now on priority will be given to the technique of Russian producers. But cooperation with the Israeli IAI concern was continued.
Military-technical cooperation with Russia caused and causes a lot of issues in Israel. This is due primarily to the fact that Moscow continues to supply weapons to Iran and Syria. The Iranians had a particular interest in UAV technologies, developing its own production of the equipment. Iranian UAVs were repeatedly used by the Lebanese Hizbullah against Israel. During operation protective edge (summer 2014) simple UAV («drone kamikaze») were first used by the terrorist organization Hamas in real combat conditions. In addition, there have been persistent rumors about the trials Russian drones in combat in Syria (Moscow these rumors categorically denies). Against this background, Israel refuses proposals of Russia on joint production of modern strike UAV.