|Products||Unmanned aerial vehicles|
ZALA Aero (also called A-Level Aerosystems) is a company specialising in unmanned aerial vehicle development, located in Izhevsk, Russia. ZALA Aero has provided UAV systems for several sectors of the Russian government, including the Ministry of Defence, and has also won contracts to supply UAVs to foreign countries.
Founded in 2003 by Aleksandr Zakharov, ZALA Aero delivered its first production UAVs to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2006. In addition to providing aircraft for defense and military purposes, the company actively markets its products to the energy sector, and has signed a contract with Gazprom to provide UAVs that will be used to monitor over 2,000 km of the company's pipeline network. ZALA Aero has also cooperated with Gazprom's Space Systems division in a development project to use UAVs to transmit real-time video communications over satellite channels.
In 2008, the ZALA 421-06, an unmanned helicopter, and the ZALA 421-08, a more conventional UAV, completed test-flying, and entered operational service. The aircraft were trialled aboard an icebreaker, participating in reconnaissance to assist the ship's work. In 2009, ZALA Aero reached an agreement with Turkmenistan's Ministry of Internal Affairs to supply the country with the ZALA 421-12 UAV system.
Currently a large-scale project for UAVs is being developed for tender to the Russian government. Originally, twelve Russian companies submitting 22 different types of unmanned aircraft were involved in the competition. In November 2010, however, the selection was narrowed down to three submissions, one of which is the ZALA 421-04M, designed by ZALA Aero in association with the Vega Radio Engineering Corporation. The three UAVs selected as finalists are currently undergoing trials before the final selection of a winner in the competition.
ZALA Aero designs and produces unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as providing after-sale maintenance for their systems. The company's in-house design and production projects include a variety of systems related to UAV design, manufacture and operation, including autopilots, airframes, mechanical and pneumatic catapults, launchers, payloads and communication technologies. ZALA Aero is also the only company in Russia currently producing unmanned helicopters. The company is privately owned and located in Izhevsk, Russia, and is still operated by its founder and current company president Aleksandr Zakharov.
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- "About". ZALA Aero.
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- "Russian company showcases unmanned police helicopter". RIA Novosti. 2008-07-15.
- "Russia using drones to nab illegal immigrants". Gulf Times. 2009-01-31.