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Military Drones Now Common to Nearly 100 Nations, Report Finds


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 A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone.

A study by researchers at Bard College's Center for the Study of the Drone found that at least 95 countries currently own unmanned military drones.

Credit: Paul Ridgeway/U.S. Air Force

A report by researchers at Bard College's Center for the Study of the Drone estimated that 95 countries currently own unmanned military drones—up from 60 in 2010—and the infrastructure to support their operation also is expanding.

Bard's Dan Gettinger said drones "are featuring more prominently in world affairs, as we've seen most recently in the Saudi drone attacks."

The report found the U.S. monopoly on long-distance military drones is eroding, with at least 10 nations, including Azerbaijan and Nigeria, using drones to launch strikes.

Fifteen countries have training academies for drone operators, according to the report.

China, Israel, and the U.S. are the leading drone exporters; Pentagon officials are worried about China's dominance of the global market for small drones.

The report calculated that military drones currently in operation number at least 21,000, and likely more than 30,000 globally.

From The Wall Street Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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