Drones were initially designed for use by the military in their mostly covert operations before they were opened up for use by civilians. For this reason, military drones were more advanced in their features and capabilities and came with additional accessories that are not seen or found in civilian drones. We take a look at some of the best military drones ever to be designed by the military.
1. X-47B PEGASU
The Pegasus drone is one of the few unmanned aircrafts that is designed for aircraft carriers. The drone is huge and is designed to cruise at 0.45 Mach and can attain speeds of over 180 mph. An important feature of the Pegasus is that it can easily take off from the ground and land all by itself, in addition to refueling over the ocean. It can also be fitted with smart bombs and other weaponry that can self-deploy using the onboard computer systems.
2. X-45 UCAV
The X-45 UCAV is one of the few drones that have been designed to be extremely dangerous during covert military operations. It is designed with the capability of flying autonomously without any human interference and can deploy weaponry at an extremely fast and lethal speed. It is fitted with smart computers that have the capability of making autonomous decisions whether to engage a target or not.
3. PREDATOR C, AVENGER
The Avenger is one of the most sophisticated military drones with some complex features and capabilities. It is among the latest installments in the Predator Fleet and it is arguably better than the MQ-9 reaper. While it is basically still on its developmental stages, the drone is known to fly at extremely high altitudes of up to 30,000 feet and can make intelligent decisions while airborne. The Avenger can spend days in the air while it is fully operational.
4. IAI EITAN
The IAI Eitan is among the few military drones developed by IAI Heron. It is extremely huge in size, about the size of a fighter jet and can carry heavy loads for a considerable distance. The manufacturers argue that the drone can fly at over 40,000 feet above ground level and can stay airborne for 3 days without pause thanks to the powerful batteries attached to it. Its huge body is advantageous in that it helps it carry very large bombs and can also maintain a stealth approach.
5. MQ – 9 REAPER
The Reaper, also known as the Predator B, is arguably the deadliest drone in the sky if the onboard technology is anything to go by. It comes with a turboprop engine that offers over 9 times more power than the piston-driven engines found in other drones. It is designed to carry huge loads at a time and can deploy laser guided missiles towards a target at a moment's notice. Its powerful batteries can keep it airborne for over 36 hours nonstop and it can fly at an altitude of about 52,000 feet.
6. WING LONG II
Developed by the Chengdu Corporation, the Wing Long II is mainly used by the military for covert operations and surveillance. It is huge and can carry multiple air-to-surface missiles and deploy them during wartime. Although it is still being developed, the Wing Long II will soon make it to the arsenals as one of the most important firepower in the military.
7. BAE TARANIS
The Taranis is a British made drone that was first flown in 2013. Thanks to its massive size, the Taranis is capable of carrying multiple ground to air missiles, bombs and other weaponry while in flight. It has some of the most sophisticated onboard computers that can deploy air-to-ground missiles both at moving and stationary targets. It is also designed with very complex stealth technology that allows it to carry out very covert operations and maintain a low radar profile.
8. ELBIT HERMES 900
The Elbit Hermes 900 is one of the oldest yet lethal military drones in the market. It has been around since the first half of the last decade yet it still has some of the most advanced and most sophisticated technology. It is huge in size with the capability of carrying several air-to-ground missiles. It is also intelligent enough to fire at targets autonomously without any human interference.
9. NORTHROP GRUMMAN RQ-4 GLOBAL HAWK
This is one of the biggest military drones in the market today. It is designed for use as a surveillance drone as opposed to a killer drone. It has multiple sensors that allow it to cover a wide area during surveillance and gather as much data as possible. But in addition to that, this drone can also carry weapons and launch lethal attacks against targets if needs be.
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