After you take a look at our list of 5 countries that have the most drones, you will be convinced that the future is already here.
Originally used for military purposes, drones have found various commercial applications in recent years. Now the number of drones being used commercially surpasses the number used for the military. According to the rough estimations, by 2015 more than million commercial drones were sold. Beside their recreational use, they can have important functions like data gathering, surveillance, search, and rescue. They are being used for deliveries as well. Amazon is one of the first companies that uses drones to deliver small packages to its customers. This is where that “future” part kicks in. If you want to know more about drones, check out our article Eyes in the Sky: 10 Things You Need to Know About Drones.
The military use of drones is more complex. At first, they were only used for gathering information and surveillance. However, nowadays drones have the ability to perform attacks and even destroy the enemy’s air defense. Having that in mind, it is evident that drones are future of warfare. They can be efficient and remove danger to human life out of the equation (at least on the side that is controlling the drone). Depending on their function, the cost of military drones can reach more than $10 million.
As you can see, the drones are a desirable asset for any countries, so their number is growing rapidly. To get our list of 5 countries that have the most drones we have used data about a number of the drone stocks per country from the International Institute for Strategic Studies published by the Guardian. Keep in mind that these numbers should be used for orientation since lots of countries aren’t willing to discover the full information. The real numbers of drones in each country are much bigger. Also, it is important to mention that the numbers weren’t accessible for Russia, China, and Turkey, which is probably the only reason they didn’t find its place on this list. Without further ado, let’s which are the countries that have the most drones!
Number of Drones: 23
France’s Army relies on native made medium drones Sperwer developed by SAGEM. You may be familiar with this company from their low cost (and low quality) mobile phones. But Sperwer gained quite of a reputation being able to stay in flight for 5 hours and send data from the distance of 90 miles. Alongside 20 Sperwer drones, France has 3 heavy Harfang drones used by the Air Force.
Number of Drones: 26
22 of Israel’s 26 drones are Searcher Mk II medium drones that have the function of surveillance. The other 4 known drones are heavy Heron-TP drones that can be armed. Allegedly, Israel used these drones in one of the striking attacks on Gaza. Both Searcher Mk II and Heron-TP are developed and produced by Israel Aerospace Industries. Israel has two additional types of heavy drones, but their number is unknown. All Israel’s drones are used by the Air Force.
Number of Drones: 28
Israel Aerospace Industries supplies one more country on our list of 5 countries that have the most drones. Turkey has 10 Heron drones, older versions of Heron-TP and 18 Gnat 750 medium drones that were previously used by the CIA. These drones are used by Turkey’s Air Force. Turkey’s list of drones stretches with the ones used by the Army, including medium drones Gnat, CL-89, Firebee and Falcon 600. You’ve guessed it, their number is unknown.
Number of Drones: 38
India is open when it comes to drones used by the Army and the Navy. India’s Army has 14 native made Nishant medium drones developed by country’s ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment) with the addition of 12 Searcher Mk I/II drones. 8 additional Searcher Mk II drones are used by India’s Navy along the 4 Heron drones. India’s Air Force uses Searcher Mk II drones, but their number is not revealed.
1. United States
Number of Drones: 678
The United State tops our list of 5 countries that have the most drones with an impressive number of 678 drones. If you know that the United States is a country whose military has the largest budget, this comes as no surprise. The most commonly used drone is medium RQ-7A Shadow, represented by 236 units. It is a drone used for surveillance and damage assessments, able to fly for four hours and send data from a distance of more than 31 miles. This drone is used by the United States’ Army. There are multiple variations of this drone, some of them even armed. Between the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard there are more than 10 types of drones being used by the United States, with only 3 of them being medium drones. This is one more indicator that it isn’t a smart idea to mess with the United States.