Drones are a Growth Industry
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the U.S. campaign against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan, have proven to be the ideal marketing grounds for unmanned aircraft, whose popularity is soaring to new heights.
Nine years ago the Department of Defense spent $550 million on drones. But in 2011 that figure ballooned to nearly $5 billion, and that amount is nothing compared to what worldwide expenditures for drones are projected to be over the next 10 years: $94 billion.
The New York Times says a global “drone arms race” is just on the horizon, as scores of countries plan to buy the same or similar aircraft used by the U.S.
Currently, the federal government is limiting exports of pilotless-aircraft technology. But the companies building drones, such as Northrop Grumman and General Atomics, are itching to sell their product overseas.
China is already jockeying to profit from the demand for drones, having presented more than two dozen such aircraft at the Zhuhai air show in China in November 2010. To demonstrate its WJ-600 Combat Drone at the show, the Chinese showed a video simulation that included the use of the drone to help blow up an American aircraft carrier.
Although at least 40 national governments own drones, only the U.S., Great Britain and Israel have actually carried out lethal drone strikes.
Part 1: Are Drones Creating a New Global Arms Race? (by Andreas Lorenz, Juliane von Mittelstaedt and Gregor Peter Schmitz, Spiegel Online)
Part 2: Are Drones Creating a New Global Arms Race? (by Andreas Lorenz, Juliane von Mittelstaedt and Gregor Peter Schmitz, Spiegel Online)
Coming Soon: The Drone Arms Race (by Scott Shane, New York Times)
U.S. Fired More Drone Strikes in Libya than in Pakistan (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Coming to a Neighborhood Near You…Drones You Can’t See (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
Foreign Governments Line Up to Buy U.S. Drones (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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