Documents: DoD’s Domestic Drone Missions

By Dan Gettinger On January 11, the U.S. Department of Defense published new statistics on domestic military drone operations. According to the data, which cover missions that were authorized during Fiscal Year 2018, the U.S. military engaged in 11 domestic missions. Most of the these missions fall under “Defense Support …

Drone Bases Updates

This dynamic post will provide regular updates regarding the deployment of drones in military operations as new developments occur and as new information becomes available.   Aksu, China 41°15′45″N 80°17′30″E October 1, 2018   By Dan Gettinger An August 16, 2018 satellite image appears to indicate that eight medium-altitude long-endurance …

Study: Drones in the FY 2019 Defense Budget

The Department of Defense has requested approximately $9.39 billion for unmanned systems and associated technologies in the FY 2019 budget. This proposal includes funding for the procurement of 3,447 new air, ground, and sea drones. The FY 2019 budget proposal represents a significant expansion in drone spending over the FY …

Report: Drone Registrations

On November 14, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration publicly released a database of every drone registration up to October 31, 2017. This preliminary report is the first detailed analysis of the dataset. Key Takeaways As of October 31, 2017, there are 836,796 hobbyist users and 106,739non-hobbyist drones registered with the …

Drones at Home: Drone Incidents

Today the Center for the Study of the Drone published “Drone Incidents: A Survey of Legal Cases,” an in-depth study on over two dozen legal cases that have been prosecuted by authorities other than the FAA. This is the third installment in a three-part series on drone use and regulations at the local level in …

Drones at Home: Public Safety Drones

Today the Center for the Study of the Drone published “Public Safety Drones,” an in-depth study on the acquisition of drones by police, sheriff, and other public safety agencies in the U.S. This is the second instalment in a three-part series on drone use and regulations at the local level in the …

Loitering Munitions In Focus

In the early history of unmanned aviation, the distinction between a drone and guided missile was not always well defined. The World War One-era Kettering Bug, regarded to be one of the first drones, was designed to deliver an explosive charge by crashing into its targets, more like a rocket …

Drones Operating in Syria and Iraq

In Syria and Iraq today, there are more drones, made in more countries, and flown by more groups, than in any previous conflict. Once primarily the domain of technologically advanced militaries such as the United States, drones are being adopted by less technologically advanced militaries, militias, and non-state actors with …

Underwater Drones (Updated)

By Dan Gettinger This article is adapted from a post from November 2015 and includes recent developments and updated spending figures.  In October 2016, the U.K. Royal Navy hosted Unmanned Warrior, a massive exercise involving 18 nations that focused on operations involving unmanned air, ground, and maritime vehicles. Popular Mechanics called the exercise the …

The Presidential Candidates on Drones

The current U.S. administration’s use of armed surveillance drones for military operations—in particular the hundreds of covert targeted killings that have been conducted outside of declared war zones—is a defining dimension of Barack Obama’s presidency. Since 2009, drones have served as the primary tool in the U.S. war against al-Qaeda …