Kazakhstan has received hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor its borders for criminal and terrorist activity, the U.S. Embassy in Astana announced in May 2022.
The “Raven” UAV system is used widely by armed forces around the world. Weighing 1.9 kilograms apiece, the drones are lightweight, easy to use and suitable for low-altitude day and night surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Ravens transmit color and/or infrared images in real time to ground control stations and remote surveillance stations. The number of drones the U.S. supplied to Kazakhstan was not reported.
Following the delivery of the UAVs to Kazakhstan, the U.S. Embassy’s Department of Military and Security Cooperation sponsored training for Kazakh border guards on how to operate the drones. The training was organized as part of Section 333 of the Partner Countries Capacity Development Program.
Kazakhstan has also procured drones from Turkish drone manufacturer TUSAS. A licensing agreement signed in May 2022 will allow Kazakhstan to manufacture the company’s ANKA drones domestically.
This is not the first time Kazakhstan has made efforts to produce military drones at home. Last year, Kazakhstan launched the “Shagala” (Seagull) reconnaissance drone developed by the Kazakh National Defense University.
As Kazakhstan hones its technical expertise to make them, the government expressed its readiness to mass produce military drones.