But American drones are not alone in the sky. Spy drones routinely shadow U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups and other military exercises. Drones crisscross the Persian Gulf. Israeli drones have circled over Gaza during the recent fighting there. Experts say it's a rare conflict that doesn't attract spy drones; even the United Nations has considered using drones to monitor the fighting in Congo.
Using unmanned aircraft with cameras is nothing new, of course. But armed drone technology is different: the rapidly spreading technology gives attackers a new edge, whether they are clandestine terrorist gangs or global superpowers. Small and highly maneuverable, drones can befuddle air defense systems built to intercept big, lumbering aircraft.
A new Pentagon study frets that enemy drones could be a "very serious threat" to U.S. aircraft carriers in the Pacific and elsewhere, as well as to "supply convoys and other combat support assets which have not had to deal with an airborne threat in generations." On the battlefield, an enemy could create chaos and confusion simply by flooding the airspace with drones, and any U.S. bases within drone range would have to be closed, the report said.
In essence, the study suggested, armed drones are the equivalent of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), a simple, cheap and effective weapon which has forced the U.S. to spend billions of dollars in defense while experiencing growing casualties: 1,330 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan by IEDs, including 125 so far this year.
An incident early last month dispelled any doubts about the spread of drone technology. On Oct. 6, a small unmanned aircraft flew high over Israel's Mediterranean coast, headed for its nuclear reactor at Dimona. Soaring for 35 miles through heavily guarded Israeli airspace, the intruder was eventually shot down by an Israeli F-16.
Against such small and maneuverable threats, Israel's missile defenses -- including its Arrow and Iron Dome missile defense systems, so effective against rockets fired from Gaza this month -- are less effective.
From October-ABC News
The leader of Hezbollah claimed today his group was responsible for an unidentified drone that flew deep into Israeli airspace on Saturday before it was shot out of the sky by the Israeli Air Force, and that the aircraft was Iranian-made.
Originally posted by PatrickGarrow17
The way I understand the war industry: basically the Western powers, specifically the US, develops a cutting edge technology and uses it to dominate until they somehow advanced this tech, or develop some defense against it, at which point they sell the now second rate tech to everyone else.