Government Accountability Office: 75 countries now have drones

Since 2005, the number of countries that acquired an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system nearly doubled from about 40 to more than 75. In addition, countries of proliferation concern developed and fielded increasingly more sophisticated systems. Recent trends in new UAV capabilities, including armed and miniature UAVs, increased the number of military applications for this technology. A number of new civilian and commercial applications, such as law enforcement and environmental monitoring, are available for UAVs, but these applications are limited by regulatory restrictions on civilian airspace.

GAO. Report here.

3 of the big findings:

1. 75 countries possess drones of some sort.

2. The U.S. and Israel are the world’s biggest exporters.

3. The U.S. lacks inter-agency coordination to monitor drone exports successfully.

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