Sweden has agreed to help the Vietnam Aerospace Association (VASA) to manufacture medium-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for use in a broad spectrum of defence and security-related missions.

A cooperation agreement for the development of UAVs in three phases was signed by VASA president Professor Nguyen Duc Cuong and Swedish Unmanned Group officials during a ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam.

During phase one, Sweden will fund two medium-range Magic Eye 1 drones, provide equipment, model design and technology transfer, and send experts to Vietnam.

The second stage will involve cooperation on avionics development, while the third stage of the programme will focus on the manufacture of UAVs by both countries for export purposes.

Magic Eye 1 is expected to weigh 40kg and feature an operating time of up to six hours, maximum flying speed of 200km/h, as well as a radio communication radius of 100-200km.

According to local experts, Vietnam requires UAVs that are capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including mapping, surveying, planning, border patrol, search and rescue, forest management and protection, geological exploration and remote sensing.