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Embraer Joins Forces With Elbit to Make Unmanned Aircraft

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer will partner with subsidiary of Israeli weapons maker.

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer has set up a joint company with the Brazilian arm of Israeli weapons maker Elbit Systems to make unmanned aircraft, according to a company statement Thursday.

Embraer will control 51% of Harpia Sistemas, while Elbit subsidiary AEL Sistemas will hold 49%.

Harpia "will be an important instrument to respond to the necessities of the armed forces and security," said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president of Embraer Defesa e Seguranca.

Embraer last December announced the creation of a defense business unit that will develop security and communications systems.

The company is the third-largest aircraft manufacturer in the world after Boeing and Airbus. In 2010, Embraer sold 101 commercial aircraft and 145 executive jets.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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