Israeli dronemaker allowed to renew sales to Azerbaijan

(The Times of Israel).- The Israeli defense ministry has allowed Aeronautics Ltd., an aircraft manufacturer, to again sell the unmanned aerial vehicles to Azerbaijan.

In August 2017, reports emerged that the company was suspected of using the Orbiter 1K kamikaze drone to attack Armenian forces in Nagorno Karabakh during a demonstration for Azerbaijani officials. The Israeli defense ministry launched an investigation, but last week the Ministry said that it had decided to revoke the export licenses of the company officials.

Aeronautics announced that the export licenses of three senior officials — CEO Amos Matan, deputy CEO Meir Rizmovitch and a third, unnamed, employee — were to be suspended by the Defense Ministry beginning in April.

On Monday, the company informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that the ban on sales of its Orbiter 1K kamikaze drone to its “central customer ‘A’” had ended. “The Defense Ministry announced to the company that the suspension of its license was immediately canceled. The company can continue to supply the UAV to the aforementioned customer as soon as possible,” Aeronautics wrote.

The company also said the CEO, deputy CEO and third official were indeed being removed from the company’s export license beginning on April 3.

“This temporary suspension will remain in place until a decision is made to file or not file an indictment against the employees. Once the aforementioned decision is made, the temporary suspension will be reconsidered”, Aeronautics said.

Israel’s defense ministry probed allegation according to which Azerbaijan asked Aeronautics Defense Systems to demonstrate drone on Armenian military positions.The defense ministry recently 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.