It’s been a year since we published Drone Wars: The Next Generation, which gave our assessment of who is operating armed drones. This update adds four new States to those with the ability to operate large MALE or medium sized armed drones, as well as an update on significant exports, use, new models and proliferation controls over the last year. Read more
A new report published by Drone Wars UK reveals that over the last five years the number of countries actively using armed drones has quadrupled. Drone Wars: The Next Generation demonstrates that from just three states (US, UK and Israel) in 2013, there are now a further nine who have deployed armed drones in a variety of roles including for armed conflict and counter-terror operations. The report also shows that a further nine states are very close to having armed drone capabilities, almost doubling the number of existing users. To this number, we have added five non-state actors who have used armed drones, which will take the number of active operators of armed drones to over 25 in the next few years.
A number of studies by think tanks and NGOS over the last few years have shown that military drone technology has spread to over 90 countries, however, the ability to use armed drones has until recently remained in the hands of only a relatively few states. Some media reports, perhaps egged on by special Read more
A new wave of users have launched drone strikes either on their own territory or across borders over the past 15 months.
While the majority of attention on armed drones has focused on US use (and to some extent on the UK and Israeli), growing proliferation of these systems has meant that a number of other countries have acquired or developed armed drones and are beginning to regularly use them to launch strikes.
The United States has begun moves to develop what amounts to a new international control regime on the proliferation and use of armed drones. US officials presented details of a ‘Proposed Joint Declaration of Principles for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)’ to international export control officials during the arms trade treaty review conference in Geneva this week. Read more
The news that the UK has followed the US and Israel in using armed drones to launch a targeted killing outside of UN sanctioned armed conflict should make the international community even more concerned about the growing proliferation of armed drones.
All three countries known to have used armed drones have now gone beyond the generally accepted provisions of international law in this area, although perhaps unsurprisingly the countries themselves refute this. Read more
It wasn’t that long ago that an article about the use of drones in the mainstream press was a rare occurrence. Now so much is happening that it is difficult to keep up with all the news about drones. Over the past two weeks important developments have taken place on a number of fronts so we thought a general news round-up would be helpful. Read more