Unmanned combat aerial vehicle
An unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), also known as a combat drone or drone, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that usually carries aircraft ordnance such as missiles. Aircraft of this type have no onboard human pilot. These drones are usually under real-time human control, with varying levels of autonomy.
Equipment necessary for a human pilot (such as the cockpit, armor, ejection seat, flight controls, and environmental controls for pressure and oxygen) are not needed, as the operator runs the vehicle from a remote terminal, resulting in a lower weight and a smaller size than a manned aircraft.
While several nations possess and manufacture unarmed UAV, only the United States, Israel, Italy, China, India, Pakistan and Turkey are at present known to have manufactured operational UCAV as of December 2015.
One of the earliest explorations of the concept of the combat drone was by Lee De Forest, an early inventor of radio devices, and U. A. Sanabria, a TV engineer. They presented their idea in an article in a 1940 publication of Popular Mechanics. The modern military drone as known today was the brainchild of John Stuart Foster Jr., a nuclear physicist and former head of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (then called the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory). In 1971, Foster was a model airplane hobbyist and had the idea this hobby could be applied to building weapons. He drew up plans and by 1973 DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) built two prototypes called "Praeire" and "Calere". They were powered by a modified lawn-mower engine and could stay aloft for two hours while carrying 28-pounds of load.
In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel used unarmed U.S. Ryan Firebee target drones to spur Egypt into firing its entire arsenal of anti-aircraft missiles. This mission was accomplished with no injuries to Israeli pilots, who soon exploited the depleted Egyptian defenses. In the late 1970s and 80s, Israel developed the Scout and the Pioneer, which represented a shift toward the lighter, glider-type model of UAV in use today. Israel pioneered the use of Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for real-time surveillance, electronic warfare, and decoys. The images and radar decoying provided by these UAVs helped Israel to completely neutralize the Syrian air defenses in Operation Mole Cricket 19 at the start of the 1982 Lebanon War, resulting in no pilots downed.
Impressed by Israel's success, the US quickly acquired a number of UAVs, and its Hunter and Pioneer systems are direct derivatives of Israeli models. The first 'UAV war' was the first Gulf War: according to a May 1991 Department of the Navy report: "At least one UAV was airborne at all times during Desert Storm." After the Gulf War successfully demonstrated their utility, global militaries invested widely in the domestic development of combat UAVs. The first "kill" by an American UAV was on October 7, 2001 in Kandahar.
In recent years the U.S. has increased its use of drone strikes against targets in foreign countries and elsewhere as part of the War on Terror. In January 2014, it was estimated that 2,400 people have died from U.S. drone strikes in five years. In June 2015 the total death toll of U.S. drone strikes was estimated to exceed 6,000.
Note: Some of these are not aircraft prototypes but technology demonstrators (TD) that are not expected to enter service.
Various Chinese UCAV concepts have also materialized. WZ-2000, UCAV versions of the Xianglong high altitude are long endurance UAV. Also, dedicated UCAV's Shenyang's Dark Sword (Anjian), and also revealed at Zhuhai 2008 was a model of a stealth strike UCAV with forward swept wings, filling a similar niche to U.S. X-45 called the Warrior Eagle.
Taranis is a British demonstrator programme for unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) technology. It is part of the UK's Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicle (Experimental) programme (SUAV[E]). BAE describes Taranis's role in this context as following: "This £124m four year programme is part of the UK Government's Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicle Experiment (SUAVE) and will result in a UCAV demonstrator with fully integrated autonomous systems and low observable features." The Taranis demonstrator will have an MTOW (Maximum Takeoff Weight) of about 8000 kilograms and be of comparable size to the BAE Hawk – making it one of the world's largest UAVs. It will be stealthy, fast, and able to deploy a range of munitions over a number of targets, as well as being capable of defending itself against manned and other unmanned enemy aircraft. The first steel was cut in September 2007 and ground testing started in early 2009. The first flight of the Taranis took place in August 2013 in Woomera, Australia. The demonstrator will have two internal weapons bays. With the inclusion of "full autonomy" the intention is thus for this platform to be able to "think for itself" for a large part of the mission.
Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems, or J-UCAS, was the name for the joint U.S. Navy/U.S. Air Force unmanned combat air vehicle procurement project. J-UCAS was managed by DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, the J-UCAS program was terminated. The program would have used stealth technologies and allowed UCAVs to be armed with precision-guided weapons such as Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) or precision miniature munitions, such as the Small-Diameter Bomb, which are used to suppress enemy air defenses. Controllers could have used real-time data sources, including satellites, to plan for and respond to changes on and around the battlefield.
In a New Year 2011 editorial titled "China's Naval Ambitions", The New York Times said "[t]he Pentagon must accelerate efforts to make American naval forces in Asia less vulnerable to Chinese missile threats by giving them the means to project their deterrent power from further offshore. Cutting back purchases of the Navy's DDG-1000 destroyer (with its deficient missile defense system) was a first step. A bigger one would be to reduce the Navy's reliance on short-range manned strike aircraft like the F-18 and the F-35, in favor of the carrier-launched N-UCAS ...."
- Scaled Composites Model 395
- Scaled Composites Model 396
- General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (originally the Predator B)
- Aurora Flight Sciences/Israel Aircraft Industries Eagle/Heron 2
- Unnamed Lockheed Martin entry
The United States Air Force has shifted its UCAV program from medium-range tactical strike aircraft to long-range strategic bombers. The technology of the Long Range Strike program is based on the Lockheed Martin Polecat demonstrator.
Elbit Hermes 450
The Israeli Air Force, which operates a squadron of Hermes 450s out of Palmachim Airbase south of Tel Aviv, has adapted the Hermes 450 for use as an assault UAV, reportedly equipping it with two Hellfire missiles or, according to various sources, two Rafael-made missiles. According to Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese and independent reports, the Israeli assault UAV has seen extensive service in the Gaza Strip and was used intensively in the Second Lebanon War. Israel has not denied this capability, but to date, its policy has been not to officially confirm it either.
Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System (LMAMS)
Countries with known operational armed drones:
- Azerbaijan - IAI Harop
- Botswana - Elbit Hermes 450
- Brazil - Elbit Hermes 450, IAI Heron
- Colombia - Elbit Hermes 450
- Chile - Elbit Hermes 900
- China - Guizhou WZ-2000, Chengdu Wing Loong I, CH-3, CH-4, CH-5
- Croatia - Elbit Hermes 450
- Cyprus - Elbit Hermes 450
- Egypt - CAIG Wing Loong, CASC Rainbow
- France - EADS Harfang (based on the IAI Heron), SAGEM Sperwer, General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper "F"
- Germany - Modified IAI Heron from Israel.
- Georgia - Elbit Hermes 450, Elbit Skylark
- India - IAI Heron, IAI Harop and IAI Harpy from Israel, DRDO AURA, DRDO Rustom(Under development)
- Iran - Karrar, Shahed 129, Fotros and others
- Ireland - Aeronautics Orbiter UAV, number: 3+. Used in Irish Army duties. There is no evidence of using Armed drones by Irish army
- Israel - IAI Heron, IAI Harpy, Elbit Hermes 450, IAI Eitan, IAI Harop
- Italy - MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper from the U.S. and P.1 HH Hammerhead from the Italy
- Mexico - Elbit Hermes 450
- Netherlands - MQ-9 Reaper
- North Korea - MQM-107-based flying bombs
- Pakistan - UCAV Burraq, GIDS Shahpar, Falco UAV (from Italy)
- Palestine - Two types of operational drones developed from Iranian Ababil-1 drone.
- Singapore - Elbit Hermes 450
- Spain - IAI Searcher, Skeldar V-200, RQ-11 Raven, INTA SIVA, INTA Milano, EADS ATLANTE
- Taiwan - The Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) is developing a defending and attack UCAV based on the U.S. X-47B.
- Tunisia - TATI Buraq, TATI Jinn (Under Development)
- Turkey - TAI Anka, BAYKAR Bayraktar TB2, Vestel Karayel UCAV
- United Kingdom - MQ-9 Reaper, Elbit Hermes 450
- United States - MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, Elbit Hermes 450
Laws and ethics of war
UAVs face multiple ethical issues.
The "unmanned" aspect of armed UAVs has raised moral concerns about their use in combat and law enforcement contexts. Attacking humans with remote-controlled machines is even more abstract than the use of other "stand-off" weaponry, such as missiles, artillery and aerial bombardment, possibly depersonalizing the decision to attack. By contrast, UAVs and other stand-off systems reduce casualties among the attackers.
The picture is further complicated if the UAV can initiate an attack autonomously, without direct human involvement. Such UAVs could possibly react more quickly and without bias, but would lack human sensibility. Heather Roff replies that LARs may not be appropriate for complex conflicts and targeted populations would likely react angrily against them. Will McCants argues that the public would be more outraged by machine failures than human error, making LARs politically implausible. According to Mark Gubrud, claims that drones can be hacked are overblown and misleading and moreover, drones are more likely to be hacked if they're autonomous, because otherwise the human operator would take control: "Giving weapon systems autonomous capabilities is a good way to lose control of them, either due to a programming error, unanticipated circumstances, malfunction, or hack and then not be able to regain control short of blowing them up, hopefully before they've blown up too many other things and people."
In March 2009, The Guardian reported allegations that Israeli UAVs armed with missiles killed 48 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, including two small children in a field and a group of women and girls in an otherwise empty street. In June, Human Rights Watch investigated six UAV attacks that were reported to have resulted in civilian casualties and alleged that Israeli forces either failed to take all feasible precautions to verify that the targets were combatants or failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians.
Collateral damage of civilians still takes place with drone combat, although some (like John O. Brennan) have argued that it greatly reduces the likelihood. Although drones enable advance tactical surveillance and up-to-the-minute data, flaws can become apparent. The U.S. drone program in Pakistan has killed several dozen civilians accidentally. An example is the operation in 2010 Feb near Khod, in Urozgan Province, Afghanistan. Over ten civilians in a three-vehicle convoy travelling from Daykundi Province were accidentally killed after a drone crew misidentified the civilians as hostile threats. A force of Bell OH-58 Kiowa helicopters, who were attempting to protect ground troops fighting several kilometers away, fired AGM-114 Hellfire missiles at the vehicles.
In 2009, Brookings Institution reported that in the US-led drone attacks in Pakistan, ten civilians died for every militant killed. A former ambassador of Pakistan said that American UAV attacks were turning Pakistani opinion against the United States. The website PakistanBodyCount.Org reported 1,065 civilian deaths between 2004 and 2010. According to a 2010 analysis by the New America Foundation 114 UAV-based missile strikes in northwest Pakistan from 2004 killed between 830 and 1,210 individuals, around 550 to 850 of whom were militants. In October 2013 the Pakistani government revealed that since 2008 317 drone strikes had killed 2,160 Islamic militants and 67 civilians – far less than previous government and independent organization calculations.
In July 2013, former Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson said, on a panel at the Aspen Institute's Security Forum, that he felt an emotional reaction upon reading Nasser al-Awlaki's account of how his 16-year-old grandson was killed by a U.S. drone.
In December 2013, a U.S. drone strike in Radda, capital of Yemen's Bayda province, killed members of a wedding party. The following February, Human Rights Watch published a 28-page report reviewing the strike and its legality, among other things. Titled "A Wedding That Became A Funeral", the report concludes that some (but not necessarily all) of the casualties were civilians, not the intended regional Al-Qaeda targets. The organization demanded US and Yemeni investigations into the attack. In its research, HRW "found no evidence that the individuals taking part in the wedding procession posed an imminent threat to life. In the absence of an armed conflict, killing them would be a violation of international human rights law."
Psychological impact on pilots
Controllers can also experience psychological stress from the combat they are involved in. A few may even experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are even some reports of drone pilots struggling with post traumatic stress disorder after they have killed civilians, especially children. Unlike bomber pilots, moreover, drone operators linger long after the explosives strike and see its effects on human bodies in stark detail. The intense training that US drone operators undergo "works to dehumanise the ‘enemy’ people below whilst glorifying and celebrating the killing process."
Professor Shannon E. French, the director of the Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University and a former professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, wonders if the PTSD may be rooted in a suspicion that something else was at stake. According to Professor French, the author of the 2003 book The Code of the Warrior:
If [I'm] in the field risking and taking a life, there's a sense that I'm putting skin in the game … I'm taking a risk so it feels more honorable. Someone who kills at a distance—it can make them doubt. Am I truly honorable?
The Missile Technology Control Regime applies to UCAVs.
On 28 October 2009, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, presented a report to the Third Committee (social, humanitarian and cultural) of the General Assembly arguing that the use of unmanned combat air vehicles for targeted killings should be regarded as a breach of international law unless the United States can demonstrate appropriate precautions and accountability mechanisms are in place.
In June 2015 forty-five former US military personnel issued a joint appeal to pilots of aerial drones operating in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere urging them to refuse to fly and indicated that their missions "profoundly violate domestic and international laws." They noted that these drone attacks also undermine principles of human rights.
Professor Faisal Kutty of Valparaiso University Law School argues that the use of drones creates "blowback" and undermines core principles of American identity. He cites statistics from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the findings of reports issued by Henry L. Stimson Center and a joint report issued by Stanford Law School and New York University School of Law to make his case. The Stimson report was issued by a bipartisan ten-member panel (co-chaired by John Abizaid, a retired US Army general and former chief of US Central Command and Professor Rosa Brooks from Georgetown). The report unequivocally concluded that "The United States should not conduct a long-term killing program based on secret rationales." Kutty also pointed to an op-ed published by two members of the panel, John B Bellinger III, former legal counsel to the White House National Security Council and Jeff Smith, former legal counsel to the CIA, who wrote arguing that a long-term, secret US drone programme, even if authorised under US law and defensible under international law, may not be consistent with "more basic rule-of-law principles that are at the core of the American identity and that we seek to promote around the world."
Political and personal effects
As a new weapon, drones are having unforeseen political effects. Some scholars have argued that the extensive use of drones will undermine the popular legitimacy of local governments, which are blamed for permitting the strikes. The case study for this analysis is Yemen, where drone strikes seem to be increasing resentment against the Yemeni government as well as against the U.S.
Some leaders worry about the effect drone warfare will have on soldiers' psychology. Keith Shurtleff, an army chaplain at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, worries "that as war becomes safer and easier, as soldiers are removed from the horrors of war and see the enemy not as humans but as blips on a screen, there is very real danger of losing the deterrent that such horrors provide". Similar worries surfaced when "smart" bombs began to be used extensively in the First Gulf War.
There are new case studies that are examining the psychological effects drones have on the citizens on the ground. Peter Schaapveld, a forensic psychologist, conducted research in Yemen on the psychological effects of drones. He found that "92 percent of the population sample he examined was found to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – with children being the demographic most significantly affected." Psychologists in Gaza, meanwhile, talk of a whole generation of Gazan children suffering deep psychological trauma because of the continual exposure to the buzzing sounds of drones high above, machines that can spit lethal violence upon them and their families at any moment. Stanford’s ‘Living Under Drones’ researchers, meanwhile, have shown that civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan are reluctant to help those hit by the first strikes because rescuers themselves have often been killed by follow-on drone strikes. Injured relatives in the rubble of the first strike have been known to tell their relatives not to help rescue them because of the frequency of these so-called ‘double-tap’ strikes. People also avoid gathering in groups in visible places. Many children are permanently kept indoors and often no longer go to school.
Writer Mark Bowden has disputed this viewpoint saying in his The Atlantic article, "But flying a drone, [the pilot] sees the carnage close-up, in real time—the blood and severed body parts, the arrival of emergency responders, the anguish of friends and family. Often he’s been watching the people he kills for a long time before pulling the trigger. Drone pilots become familiar with their victims. They see them in the ordinary rhythms of their lives—with their wives and friends, with their children. War by remote control turns out to be intimate and disturbing. Pilots are sometimes shaken."
This assessment is corroborated by a sensor operator’s account:
The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg … It took him a long time to die. I just watched him.
Back in the United States, a combination of "lower-class" status in the military, overwork, and psychological trauma may be taking a mental toll on drone pilots. These psychological, cultural and career issues appear to have led to a shortfall in USAF drone operators, which is seen as a "dead end job".
Public opinion summary
In 2013 a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll asked registered voters whether they "approve or disapprove of the U.S. Military using drones to carry out attacks abroad on people and other targets deemed a threat to the U.S.?" The results showed that three in every four (75%) of voters approved of the U.S. Military using drones to carry out attacks, while (13%) disapproved. A poll conducted by the Huffington Post in 2013 also showed a majority supporting targeted killings using drones, albeit by a smaller margin. A 2015 poll showed Republicans and men are more likely to support U.S. drone strikes, while Democrats and Independents, women, young people, and minorities are less supportive.
Outside America there is widespread opposition to US drone killings. A July 2014 report found a majority or plurality of respondents in 39 of 44 countries surveyed opposed U.S. drone strikes in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The U.S., Kenya, and Israel were the only countries where at least half the public supported drone strikes. Venezuela was found to be the most anti-drone country, where 92% of respondents disagreed with U.S. drone strikes, followed closely by Jordan, where 90% disagreed; Israel was shown as the most pro-drone, with 65% in favor of U.S. drone strikes and 27% opposed.
Drone carrier ships
In November 2014, the Pentagon made an open request for ideas on how to build a flying aircraft carrier that can launch and retrieve drones using existing military aircraft such as the B-1, B-52 or C-130.
- Boeing Phantom Ray
- Drone attacks in Pakistan
- Drone attacks in Yemen
- Civilian casualties from US drone strikes
- History of unmanned aerial vehicles
- List of unmanned aerial vehicles
- List of unmanned aerial vehicles of China
- Moral injury
- Remote Control War (2011), documentary.
- UAVs in the U.S. military
- UXV Combatant – A proposal for a ship dedicated to UCAVs being designed for the Royal Navy
- Dowd, Alan. "Drone wars: risks and warnings". Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "The Simulation of the Human-Machine Partnership in UCAV Operation" (PDF). College of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Baykar Technologies (17 December 2015). "17 Aralık 2015 - Tarihi Atış Testinden Kesitler" – via YouTube.
- Haber7. "Milli İHA'ya yerli füze takıldı!".
- "Robot Television Bomber" Popular Mechanics June 1940
- Fred Kaplan (June 7, 2013). "The World as Free-Fire Zone". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
- "A Brief History of UAVs".
- "Russia Buys A Bunch Of Israeli UAVs".
- Azoulai, Yuval (October 24, 2011). "Unmanned combat vehicles shaping future warfare". Globes.
- Levinson, Charles (January 13, 2010). "Israeli Robots Remake Battlefield". The Wall Street Journal. p. A10. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- Haghshenass, Fariborz (September 2008), "Iran's Asymmetric Naval Warfare" (PDF), Policy Focus, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (87), p. 17
- "UAV evolution – how natural selection directed the drone revolution". 15 November 2012.
- Michel, Arthur Holland (17 December 2015). "How Rogue Techies Armed the Predator, Almost Stopped 9/11, and Accidentally Invented Remote War". Wired (website). Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- "The Toll Of 5 Years Of Drone Strikes". The Huffington Post. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Ed Pilkington (June 17, 2015). "Former US military personnel urge drone pilots to walk away from controls". Retrieved June 18, 2015.
- "UMEX 2016: Vestel's Karayel goes operational - IHS Jane's 360".
- "Pakistan successfully tests first combat drone".
- "Iran builds own aerial drones with strike capabilities | Defense | RIA Novosti". En.rian.ru. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Iran unveils first bomber drone". BBC News. 22 August 2010.
- "'Sofreh Mahi': The Radar Evading UAV from Iran". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Iran's Shahed-129 Combat Drone to Enter Serial Production". defense-update.com. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- Mikoyan-Gurevitch Skat in Aviation Week Archived November 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- Farmer, Ben (6 February 2014) Successful test flight for Taranis stealth drone Daily Telegraph, Page 12
- "Pentagon Sets Plan For New Bomber, Terminates J-UCAS Program", by Jason Sherman, GlobalSecurity.org, 13 January 2006
- "Carrier UCAVs: The Return of UCAS", Defense Industry Daily, 7 February 2010
- Editorial, The New York Times, January 1, 2011 (January 2, 2011 p. WK7 NY ed.). Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "Gates Reveals Budget Efficiencies, Reinvestment Possibilities". Defense.gov. Archived from the original on 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Request for Information (RFI) – A Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System (LMAMS)". United States Army, 5 February 2010.
- Eshel, Tamir. "Aerovironment, Textron Systems, IAT to Deliver Lethal Mini-Drone Prototypes in Four Months". Defense-Update, 31 December 2010.
- "China's Weapons of Mass Consumption".
- News, Defense. "dubai-airshow-china-ucav-drone-market-fighter".
- "PICTURE: Germany's first Heron UAV emerges". Flightglobal.com. 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Defence Industry Daily: Israel sells heron UAVs to India and Australia". Strategypage.com. 2005-11-11. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "India joins select group to develop UCAV technology". The Hindu. 27 August 2007.
- "N. Korea developing unmanned attack aircraft from U.S. drones: source". Yonhap. 2012-02-05. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- (14 July 2014) Israel downs Gaza drone as suspects in Palestinian's killing appear in court The Globe and Mail/ Associated Press, Retrieved 18 July 2014
- Zitun, Yoav (14 July 2014) Hamas claims multiple UAVs launched into Israel YNet News, Retrieved 18 July 2014
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAJlgahx-x8|Taiwan conceptual UAVs and UCAVs
- http://zuilon2000.pixnet.net/album/photo/158242292-photo-0633.jpg|2011 TADTE from Taipei
- "Fixed Wing UAV: Buraq | Tunisia Aero Technologies Industries S.A". Tati-uas.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- Yüzde 100 Yerli (30 April 2016). "Milli İHA Bayraktar'dan gerçek mühimmat ile tam isabet (full video)" – via YouTube.
- Karayel UCAV MAM L Firing - Vestel Defence Industry 16.06.2016: Vestel UCAV's firing test video 1
- Karayel UCAV MAM-L Firing Test - Vestel Defence Industry 25.06.2016: Vestel UCAV's firing test video 2
- Rogers, Simon (3 August 2012). "Drones by country: who has all the UAVs?". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Carroll, Rory (2 August 2012). "The philosopher making the moral case for US drones". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Foust, Joshua (8 October 2013). "Why America Wants Drones That Can Kill Without Humans". Defense One. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Gubrud, Mark Avrum (11 October 2013). "New Foustian pro-Terminator meme infection spreading". Mark Gubrud's Weblog. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- The Guardian, 23 March 2009. "Cut to pieces: the Palestinian family drinking tea in their courtyard: Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles – the dreaded drones – caused at least 48 deaths in Gaza during the 23-day offensive." Retrieved on 3 August 2009.
- "Precisely Wrong – Human Rights Watch". Hrw.org. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "Report: IDF used RPV fire to target civilians". Ynet.co.il. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "Israel/Gaza: Civilians must not be targets: Disregard for Civilians Underlies Current Escalation". Human Rights Watch. 30 December 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- John O. Brennan (30 April 2012). "The Ethics and Efficacy of the President's Counterterrorism Strategy". Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Owens, Hudson L.; Flannes, M. (2011). "Drone Warfare: Blowback from the New American Way of War". Middle East Policy. 18: 122–132. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4967.2011.00502.x.
- Alex Rodriguez; David Zucchino; David S. Cloud (May 2, 2010). "U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan get mixed response". Los Angeles Times. p. 2.
- Anatomy of an Afghan war tragedy, David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2011
- Drone operators blamed in airstrike that killed Afghan civilians in February, Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post, Sunday, May 30, 2010
- , Dawn (newspaper), 21 July 2009 Archived 21 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- Daniel L. Byman (14 July 2009). "Do Targeted Killings Work?". The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- Newsweek, 8 July 2009. Anita Kirpalani, "Drone On. Q&A: A former Pakistani diplomat says America's most useful weapon is hurting the cause in his country" Retrieved on 3 August 2009.
- "Home". PakistanBodyCount.org. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- Peter Bergen & Katherine Tiedemann. "2004–2011". New America Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- Sebastian Abbot and Munir Ahmed, Associated Press (31 October 2013). "Pakistan says 3% of drone deaths civilians". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- Michael Isikoff: Ex-Pentagon official has 'heavy heart' over US teen's inadvertent killing by drone
- [Yemeni] Official: U.S. drone attack in Yemen kills wedding guests – AP, December 12, 2013
- "A Wedding That Became A Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen". Human Rights Watch. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- David Zucchino (March 18, 2012). "Stress of combat reaches drone crews". Los Angeles Times.
- Rachel Martin (Dec 19, 2011). "Report: High Levels Of 'Burnout' In U.S. Drone Pilots". NPR.
- "Drone: Robot Imperium – Longreads". longreads.tni.org. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
- Blake, John (March 9, 2013). "Two enemies discover a 'higher call' in battle". CNN. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "UN News Centre, "UN rights expert voices concern over use of unmanned drones by United States", 28 October 2009". Un.org. 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "The drone `blowback'". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Covert Drone War". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Recommendations And Report Of The Stimson Task Force On US Drone Policy". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Living Under Drones". Living Under Drones. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Smith, Jordan Michael (5 September 2012). "Drone "blowback" is real A new analysis finds five ways drone strikes in Yemen are hurting American interests". Salon.com. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- Cole, Jim and Chris Wright. "Drone Wars UK". January 2010. http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/aboutdrone/
- Salama, Vivian. "Death From Above: How American Drone Strikes Are Devastating Yemen". April 2014. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/death-from-above-how-american-drone-strikes-are-devastating-yemen-20140414#ixzz3YocHjBIz
- Mark Bowden. "The Killing Machines – Mark Bowden". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Confessions of a Drone Warrior". GQ. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Chatterjee, Pratap (March 2015). Is Drone Warfare Fraying at the Edges?. "Are Pilots Deserting Washington's Remote-Control War? A New Form of War May Be Producing a New Form of Mental Disturbance."
- 8/21/13 5:44pm 8/21/13 5:44pm. "Nobody Wants to Fly Air Force Drones Because It's a Dead End Job.". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, (February 7, 2013). Public says it's illegal to target Americans abroad as some question CIA drone attacks (press release)
- "Drone Program Poll: The Public Does Not Uncritically Embrace Targeted Killings". The Huffington Post. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Public Continues to Back U.S. Drone Attacks". Pew Research Center. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "U.S. Use of Drones, Under New Scrutiny, Has Been Widely Opposed Abroad". Pew Research Center. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Global Opposition to U.S. Surveillance and Drones, but Limited Harm to America's Image". Pew Research Center. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Darpa looks to use small ships as drone bases". BBC. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- CNN, Brad Lendon. "Pentagon wants ideas for flying aircraft carrier".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Unmanned aerial military vehicles.|
|Wikinews has related news: Fifteen killed by US drone strikes in Northern Waziristan|