Venezuela's defense minister said Monday that the military is looking into building unmanned planes, possibly with help from allied countries such as Iran.
Defense Minister Gen. Raul Baduel said the military considers unmanned, remote-controlled planes to be versatile for surveillance and border patrol flights.
"There has been advancing work on the part of our military aviation on a project for pilot-less planes," he said. "They can stay in flight for various hours. They are guided by remote control and would avoid putting lives in danger while helping with border security."
In this and other aviation projects, Baduel said President Hugo Chavez's administration would search for help from "friendly governments, among them Iran."
He said Venezuela also would look to foreign allies for help in maintaining its decades-old US-made F-5 fighter jets, which he said have been difficult to keep up - along with various other planes - since the US government has blocked arms sales to the South American country.