Venezuela builds its first Drone with Iran help

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his country has manufactured its first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), dubbed Arpia-001 (Harpy-001), in cooperation with Iranian experts in order to strengthen the South American state’s defensive power.

Venezuela is manufacturing drones and seeks to increase its defensive and military powers, which has nothing to do against anyone, Chavez said late on Wednesday.

He added that the drone has both military and civilian applications, noting that the UAV has been produced in a way that could be used for non-military operations.

Venezuela is an independent and free country, and is promoting its plans to mount the defensive capabilities in collaboration with Iran, Russia and China, Chavez pointed out.

The UAV has a 100-kilometer (60 mile) sweep and can fly solo for some 90 minutes and reach an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,000 feet).

Venezuela has already manufactured three of the aerial vehicles.

Washington has at times expressed concern about the rising level of ties between Tehran and Caracas.