The military has long been at the forefront of technology, so it probably comes as no surprise that militarized drones, otherwise known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are slowly becoming the primary force in the United States military, especially when it comes to counterterrorism methods.
Militarized drones get rid of the need for pilots to be onboard during a flight, encouraging safety and security in our military while carrying out non-lethal surveillance or lethal counterterrorism strikes. You’ve likely seen drones flying around by now, but what exactly are they and how did they get here? Let’s hop aboard and find out.
When were Militarized Drones First Introduced?
The idea of militarized drones came about during WWII, as France and the United States were working separately to put together an airplane that could fly automatically. France was the first to do so, naming the first drone, which could fly by itself for about 100 kilometers, the Voisin BN3 biplane.
Throughout WWII, the idea of militarized drones became even more prominent, as countries began to suffer major losses in terms of soldiers. Some of the very first observation drones were used during the Vietnam War in 1973. Nowadays, militarized drones can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, including micro drones (below 150kg), Class II Tactical drones (150-600kg), and Class III Strategic drones (600kg or more).
What are Militarized Drones?
Drones are flight vehicles that are made used in situations deemed too risky for manned flight. They also help to provide surveillance to troops 24/7, as one aircraft is able to hover over a region for an average of 17 hours at a time.
While there are many different kinds of drones, many carry television cameras, infra-red imaging, targeting lasers, and image intensifiers. Some armed militarized drones carry laser-guided missiles. These types of drones usually cost upwards of a few million dollars to create.
Drone pilots will typically rely on communications satellites and GPS satellites to track and control their drones. Pilots will sit at a ground control station equipped with a satellite antenna to do so. There are many drones that can fly autonomously, though they will eventually crash if they cannot recover contact after they have run out of fuel.
Militarized Drones in Movies and Pop Culture
There are about a hundred or more films out there that deal with militarized drones, allowing audiences to explore modern warfare and understand the consequences, both good and bad. Eye In The Sky, a 2016 film about two soldiers who are ordered to take out a group of suicide bombers in Kenya through the use of a missile strike, is a movie that thoroughly examines the protocols of drone warfare.
From Blade Runner 2049 to Full Contact, there is a long list of movies with militarized drones that you can check out.
Links to Related Articles
To read more about militarized drones and their uses, start here:
This video shows the 10 best militarized drones in the world:
There are many different companies throughout the world that are now helping to develop militarized drone technology. The capabilities of drones are expected to increase tenfold in the next decade, which begs us to question the new policies and long-term effects that these drones will have on our world.