This roundup, curated by ReThink Media, looks at how the media is talking about drone warfare (and related topics) and what stories are being told.
With little transparency from governments on this topic, this roundup aims to be as comprehensive as possible, identifying breaking news, trends, developing stories, or interesting narratives. Rethink Media also use media coverage to compile a snapshot of strikes each week. The short version can be read here.
The U.S. State Department has officially loosened restrictions on exporting military-grade unmanned aerial vehicles to foreign nations, a move long sought by the defense industry. The change involves a shift in how the US interprets the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an informal pact involving 35 countries that seeks to limit the risks of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by controlling exports of technologies that can be used as delivery systems. Lawmakers say the move would make the world “less safe” and are particularly concerned about Saudi Arabia’s desire to use the drones in Yemen.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the military to accelerate its drone warfare research and training, while Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday the Russian Navy would be armed with hypersonic nuclear strike weapons and underwater nuclear drones, which the defense ministry said were in their final phase of testing.
Israel said a military drone crashed in southern Lebanon on Sunday as regional tensions ran high, days after a series of cross-border exchanges between Israel and Syria and the killing of a Hezbollah militant in an Israeli airstrike near the Syrian capital.
The US Air Force wants to cut its workhorse drone, the MQ-9 Reaper. The combatant commanders that use the MQ-9 don’t want to see that happen.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the country’s air defense forces shot down a KH-55 drone used by Armenian forces in the border area amid the recent escalation.