Chavez reveals Venezuela has built first drone

President Hugo Chavez has revealed that Venezuela has made its first drone in partnership with Iran, Russia and China, and said Caracas plans to start exporting it soon.

"It is one of the three planes that we have manufactured here, and we are continuing to make them... not just for military use, (as) much of its equipment is for civilian use," Chavez said Wednesday during a meeting with top military and defense officials.

The drones were developed in cooperation with "Russia, China, Iran and other allied countries," he said in remarks broadcast on radio and television.

Designed as a surveillance tool, the machine "does not carry arms" and has a 100-kilometer (60 mile) sweep. It can fly solo for some 90 minutes and reach an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,000 feet)," said General Julio Morales, president of the state-run Venezuelan Military Industrial Company Cavim.

Chavez is a left-wing firebrand who often criticizes the United States, which has closely monitored for any signs of Iranian influence in Venezuela.

The United States -- which has controversially waged drone strikes remotely against suspected militants in Pakistan and Yemen -- expressed caution about Chavez's announcement.

"The Venezuelans make lots of extravagant claims. So do the Iranians," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Thursday in Washington.

"Our concern, obviously, would be with any breaking of international sanctions on Iran. And we will be most vigilant in watching how this goes forward," she said.

Another official in Venezuela said that the drone was assembled from parts made locally and built by engineers trained in Iran.

Measuring four meters (13 feet) long by three meters (10 feet) wide, the drone can transmit real time photographs and video, officials said. It is currently being modified so it can also carry out night flights.

Cavim is also developing guns such as the AK103 in partnership with Russia, grenades and munitions, as well as more pilotless planes.

"Of course we are developing a powder factory... a drone factory, of course we are doing it. We have the right, we wouldn't have it if we were a colony, but we are a free and independent nation," Chavez said.

A former military man, Chavez has been developing cooperation with several countries to boost the Venezuelan army.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Ayungin dilemma Ramon Casiple - Parallaxis
    Ayungin dilemma

    China faces a dilemma in Ayungin Shoal and other contested areas. If it waits for the ITLOS—which may decide against it—it would have tacitly bound itself to UNCLOS and risk a rogue state reputation if it asserts its claim in the South China Sea. If its militarily acts now, it may face international isolation. …

  • 48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao VERA Files - The Inbox
    48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao

    By Jake Soriano, VERA Files Bongao, Tawi-tawi—A team of Marines and policemen intercepted around noon Thursday 48 people, 12 of them minors, believed recruited by a human trafficking syndicate for work in Malaysia. The arrest constitutes what advocates called the … Continue reading → …

  • Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Leaders of the medical profession have made peace with their former adversary, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and joined forces in a campaign to get doctors to pay the right taxes. BIR Commissioner … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options