The Drone Database

For an expanded database of drones, please see our September 2019 publication, The Drone Databook.


A growing number of countries are developing or acquiring unmanned aircraft systems. These drones are playing an ever-larger role in conflicts around the world. For example, we identified 38 drones made in six countries that are active in the conflict in Syria and Iraq. The development and acquisition of unmanned systems by different countries accelerated in 2016, and is likely to keep pace in the coming years.

Today, we are to excited to release with the Center for a New American Security The Drone Database, a tool that we hope will aid policymakers and the public in understanding the scope and implications of global drone proliferation. It includes profiles of over 150 drones from 48 countries. The drones in the database are can be organized according to country of origin and includes technical specifications such as range, payload size, and endurance.

The goal of the Database was to create an easily accessible guide to drones from around the world that reflects the breadth of drone proliferation to date. The Database is not a complete list of every drone on the market; rather, it is intended to give the researcher a sense of the types of drones that have been built in different countries and the capabilities of these systems. We hope that it will provide a foundation upon which to pursue additional research into drone proliferation.

The database is part of the CNAS Proliferated Drones project, a wide-ranging resource on different aspects of drone proliferation. The Proliferated Drones primer offers an introduction to the different categories of systems that are currently being adopted by state and non-state actors. The project also includes a series of perspectives on drone development and acquisition in countries like Germany, Singapore, and South Korea, among others, as well as a report that explored how some state and non-state actors could use drones in various conflicts.


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