Drones are transforming warfare through the use of artificial intelligence, drone swarms, and surveillance—leading to competition between the US, China, Israel, and Iran. Who will be the next drone superpower?
In the battle for the streets of Mosul in Iraq, drones in the hands of ISIS terrorists made life hell for the Iraq army and civilians. Today, defense companies are racing to develop the lasers, microwave weapons, and technology necessary for confronting the next drone threat. Seth J. Frantzman takes the reader from the midnight exercises with Israel’s elite drone warriors, to the CIA headquarters where new drone technology was once adopted in the 1990s to hunt Osama bin Laden.
This rapidly expanding technology could be used to target nuclear power plants and pose a threat to civilian airports. In the Middle East, the US used a drone to kill Iranian arch-terrorist Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian commander. Drones are transforming the battlefield from Syria to Libya and Yemen. For militaries and security agencies—the main users of expensive drones—the UAV market is expanding as well; there were more than 20,000 military drones in use by 2020. Once the province of only a few militaries, drones now being built in Turkey, China, Russia, and smaller countries like Taiwan may be joining the military drone market. It’s big business, too—$100 billion will be spent over the next decade on drones. Militaries may soon be spending more on drones than tanks, much as navies transitioned away from giant vulnerable battleships to more agile ships. The future wars will be fought with drones and won by whoever has the most sophisticated technology.