Infamous Israeli defense company Aeronautics signs new drone deal with Azerbaijan
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 19, ARMENPRESS. Two weeks after its export licenses were reinstated, the Israeli defense company Aeronautics has announced that it has signed a new contract with Azerbaijan, to whom it had infamously supplied its Orbiter 1K suicide drones, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The two-year contract is worth 13 million USD. Within the frames of the contract the company will ensure maintenance work for the Orbiter 1K drones sold to Azerbaijan.
In August 2017, reports emerged that Aeronautics Ltd., an aircraft manufacturer, was suspected of using the Orbiter 1K kamikaze drone to attack Armenian forces in Nagorno Karabakh during a demonstration for Azerbaijani officials.
Israel’s defense ministry probed allegation according to which Azerbaijan asked Aeronautics Defense Systems to demonstrate drone on Armenian military positions. The defense ministry received a complaint alleging that after a team from Aeronautics Defense Systems came to Azerbaijan seeking to finalize a contract for the sale of company's Orbiter 1K unmanned aircraft, they were asked to deploy the aircraft, armed with explosives, on a military position of the Armenian army.
The existence of the complaint was reported on August 13 by the Israeli daily paper Maariv.
The company, however, denies the allegation that its staff conducted such a mission, stating that the company “never carries out demonstrations on live targets, and that was true in this case as well”.
According to Maariv, the two Israeli operators of the craft refused to hit the Armenian position, and after remaining firm in their refusal even after the Azerbaijani threats directed against them, senior representatives of the company armed and operated the unmanned aircraft themselves. Ultimately the drones are said to have missed their targets, and no damage was caused, but according to the complaint, one of them struck at a distance of about 100 meters (330 feet) from the position.
In early February, 2019, the Israeli defense ministry has allowed Aeronautics Ltd. to again sell the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to Azerbaijan.