Sweden to help Vietnam produce drones for domestic use and export

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Vietnam will cooperate with Sweden to produce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones under an agreement signed on Tuesday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

According to the agreement, during the first phase, Sweden will provide all the funds and materials needed for the production of the first two UAVs, to be named Magic Eye 1, including consultancy on issues pertaining to intellectual property, design and technology, the news agency said.

The Magic Eye 1 will weigh 40 kilograms with an operating time of six hours and travel at speed speeds up to 200 kilometers per hour, according to the news report. The aircraft's radius of radio communication will range from 100 to 200 kilometers, it added.

During the second phase, the countries will further develop the various sciences involved with electronic aerial surveillance, such as automatic flying, as well as the installation of day and night cameras.

The two parties will proceed to manufacture UAVs for use within Vietnam in accordance with orders and then export them during the phase three, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Prof. Nguyen Duc Cuong, chairman of the Vietnam Aerospace Association, was quoted as saying that the capacity for UAV use in Vietnam is high, given that the country must patrol than one million square kilometers of sovereign seawater off its 3,500 kilometer-long coastline.

Furthermore, two-thirds of Vietnam is mountainous, 40 percent of which is forest.

The technology will be useful for purposes such as mapping traffic routes, the planning of projects, the surveillance of Vietnam's borders and search and rescue missions, Cuong said.

UAVs have become commonplace worldwide, used in fields such as defense, search and rescue, forest management and protection, geological exploration and agriculture, he added.

So far over 40 countries have designed and manufactured UAVs, according to the news report, adding that the UAV market earns US$7 billion per year, a figure which is expected to double over the next decade.

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