Drone Wars UK has updated the Drone Crash Database with details of a further 19 large drone crashes since our last update in February 2015. Sixteen of the crashes occurred in 2015 while three previously unknown US drone crashes from 2014 have been revealed through the publication of accident investigation reports.
For the past five years Drone Wars UK has been recording crashes of large military drones (Class 2 & Class 3) as a way of tracking the spread and expansion of the use of drones. Due to the secrecy surrounding their use the database is almost certainly not complete. Read more →
Over the past five years Drone Wars UK has been recording crashes of large military drones (Class 2 & Class 3) as a way of tracking the spread and expansion of the use of military drones. Due to the secrecy surrounding their use, details of crashes sometimes take months or years to be made public (if at all) and our list is therefore almost certainly not complete. Nevertheless our database now shows 200 such crashes between Jan 2007 and Dec 2014. Read more →
While its drone use is shrouded in secrecy – Israel has never publicly admitted to the use of armed drones – DWUK’s research pieces together the evidence and describes the human cost to Palestinians living in what campaigners have characterized as a ‘test zone’ for drone warfare. Nader Elkhuzundar, for example, a Palestinian from Gaza interviewed by Drone Wars UK, tells of the fear instilled by the constant noise of drones flying overhead. Read more →
Over the past few months we have been compiling information about which countries have large drones in military service. We have posted the results of our research here in our new database of large drones in military service. According to our research 31 countries currently have Class 3 or Class 2 military drones in their inventories. Many others are working to develop or acquire large drones or will have the smaller Class 1 drone in their inventory. (see here for a general guide to drone sizes)
Out of the 31 counties that currently have large drones in military service, 28 have either directly purchased some or all of their drones from another country or manufactured their drones with the help of another country. The primary exporter of drones and drone technology is Israel. Israel has directly exported the larger types of drones to 13 countries and assisted 4 others in developing their own drones. The US has directly exported larger drones to 6 countries while assisting in the development of 1 other; France has directly exported to 3 other countries, while South Africa has exported to 1 (see table below).
While some of these exports and drone programmes reach back over many years, there are indications that drone proliferation is set to explode. Just over the past weeks for example there have been a number of press reports about drone sales agreed or being explored.
The proliferation of drones is supposed to be controlled under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) but it is a non-binding, voluntary agreement which seems close to being ignored in relation to drones.