> our title:

The World's Armed Drone Market: Quantity vs. Quality

> original title:

The World's Armed Drone Market: Quantity vs. Quality (excerpt)

(Source: Stratfor; issued Oct 26, 2016)

The presence of armed drones is a reality of the modern battlefield, but only a very limited group of countries has the technological ability to produce them or the military capacity to operate them. The United States once held the edge in drone development and use, but as more countries gain access to the technology, armed drones have entered a new stage of proliferation.

From the perspective of the United States and others, this proliferation is dangerous. Attempts to curb the spread of armed drones are becoming more difficult now that the United States is no longer their sole developer. China, in particular, has grown as a global exporter of unmanned combat systems, and other countries such as Russia, Israel, Turkey and South Korea, are likely close behind.

Even less-developed militaries now typically have some capability to deploy unmanned platforms for surveillance and reconnaissance. So, too, do non-state actors, including terrorist groups, although they are limited to commercial models. However, the deployment of dedicated combat drones carrying offensive weapons systems has progressed at a reduced rate.

Still, China, building on its success in producing commercial drones, is known to have exported armed drones to Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Of these buyers, only Iraq, Pakistan and Nigeria have documented the use of armed drones on the battlefield.

And once the Russian military-industrial complex begins to export armed drones, the proliferation of remote combat systems to such countries could increase. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Stratfor website.