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Vol. 2 (2021): Panoply Journal

Geopolitics of Proliferation of Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Soumyadeep Bidyanta
27 December 2021


The paper looks at the effects of the increased proliferation of armed UAVs. It briefly elucidates the military history of UAVs, before examining the phenomenon of proliferation of these UAVs. It looks at how both states and non-state actors have been using these increasingly. It examines the impact of drones in contemporary warfare, particularly that of low-tech and low-cost drones which operate as loitering munitions. Finally, it looks at the larger geopolitical impact of the proliferation of drones. It describes how this phenomenon has strengthened the hand of certain states like Turkey and Iran, while weakening that of states like Saudi Arabia.