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Countries with Armed Drones – Four African Countries That Have ! Is Nigeria among ? war.com.ng » Super Wordpress

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The United States, Israel, and China are the biggest producers and sellers of drones.

United States

MQ-9 Reaper droneThe United States and Israel are the biggest producers and sellers of drones. America’s leading combat drone is the MQ-9 Reaper, manufactured by General Atomics, which the Air Force has used to support operations around the world for over a decade. After the September 11th attacks, the United States conducted the first strikes under the burgeoning U.S. drone program using the MQ-1 Predator, which the Air Force flew in combat for 21 years. On February 27, 2017, the Department of Defense announced the retirement of the Predator drone to “keep up with the continuously evolving battlespace environment.” The United States has sold drones only to NATO members, but approved selling to India in 2018 If the deal goes through, this will be the first non-NATO sale the United States has initiated.

Israel

IAI Super Heron DroneIsrael’s IAI Heron is designed to compete with the Reaper. Israel is the largest exporter of drones in the world. Israel accounted for 41 percent of all drones exported between 2001 and 2011, according to a database compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), though Israel refuses to release the full list of countries to which it has sold military arms. A partial list of recipients includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, Germany, Spain, Brazil, India, China, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, and Nigeria.

China

China is a growing drone exporter and has filled gaps in the market with its more liberal export policy. In 2015, Pakistan, Iraq, and Nigeria all conducted strikes using armed drones supplied by, or developed in coordination with, China.

In November 2013, Pakistan’s military unveiled two domestically produced drones that experts say appear to be based on China’s CH-3, a model which Pakistan also has in its arsenal. The CH-3 is one of China’s most popular models, with exports to both Pakistan and Nigeria, and an upgraded Chinese model, the CH-4, has appeared in arsenals across the Middle East. On December 6, 2015, Iraqi armed forces released footage of a CH-4 in action, striking an ISIS position in Ramadi. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan are reported to have purchased the CH-4 as well. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have operated unarmed versions of the CH-4 in their campaign in Yemen.

A new addition to the Caihong family, the CH-5, debuted in 2016. The CH-5 has increased altitude, operational, and payload capacities. In addition to many others, China has the Wing Loong II, which is its large reconnaissance and strike system, as well as the AV500W, China’s first strike capable unmanned rotorcraft.

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