State-owned Russian lessor GTLK to launch $600 million drone leasing program 

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State-owned Russian aircraft lessor GTLK is readying the launch of a $625 million (61 billion RUB) leasing program for civilian drones.  

Part of the capital for this initiative, around $247 million (24 billion RUB), will come from the government budget, reports the daily financial newspaper Kommersant

According to these reports, GTLK, which is under sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States and has had its Irish subsidiary wound down after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, aims to finance up to 8,000 drones until 2030 through the scheme, or approximately 20% of the estimated potential demand. 

The program will be aimed primarily at financing the acquisition of medium to heavy drones (up to 30 kg). This category is expected to make up to 80% of the drones covered by the project, with applications in areas such as infrastructure and forestry management, cargo and agriculture.  

The final detail of the program is reportedly still being discussed, but it seems that one of the conditions is that unmanned aircraft are domestically produced. 

According to the sources quoted by Kommersant, rates will be in the 5 to 8.5% range and no upfront payments will be required. However, there is still uncertainty about the other components of the cost, which could have a significant impact on the attractiveness of the package, such as the necessity to pay for insurance. What’s more, there is also uncertainty surrounding the conditions under which drones may be allowed to operate in some Russian regions. 

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