Military drone: A bright spot for many Asian countries
From monitoring, climate change to carrying out search operation tasks Drones have evolved effectively. Drones have several roles and missions, usually, those deemed too “dull, dirty, or dangerous” that also include controversial operations by the military for accomplishing the tasks like reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeted attacks against their adversaries. Today, aerial drones are also employed as communications relays, for laser-targeting or even electronic warfare/ Cyberwarfare.
As Military drones are now entering the sphere of state-sponsored warfare the character of electronic warfare is expected to change.
With the advancement in technology, different Asian nations have emerged as the key suppliers of the technology to volatile regions such as Middle East. Key nations offering drone technology include Israel, UAE, Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, and UK. These nations utilize the capability of drones to conduct various offensive and defensive cyber operations against their adversaries. Other nations like Saudi Arabia, India, and China also have maintained armed drones in their arms.
Talking about Israel, It is among the region’s biggest exporters of drone technology in the Middle East. Most of its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are unarmed reconnaissance aircraft. The nation has been in international news for utilizing its military drone capabilities against Iran and Lebanon. The Nation not only just adopted the capability of Military drones in fact Israel has sold Military equipment and weapons to Arab Nations at the amount of $3.5 billion since Abraham’s Accords.
In 2021, Israel Aerospace Industries IAI (a major Israeli defense firm, specializing in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle UAV) in partnership with the state-sponsored weapon maker EDGE Group of United Arab Emirates developed an advanced drone defense system. The relationship between Israel and UAE had developed due to the common concern over Iran.
In Asia, not only Israel but state-sponsored actors of India and China have both offensive and defensive cyber capabilities and are also serving the technology of Military drones to the Middle East. In March 2022, China’s Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) ties up with Saudi Arabia’s Advanced Communication and Electronics Systems Co. during the world defense Shown that was held in Riyadh between 6 to 9th March. The joint venture will see that China’s Electronics Technology Group Corp establishes an R&D center to manufacture different types of drones.
Other china based drone conglomerates such as China North Industries Group Corp. Limited (NORINCO), Star Vision, China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp. (CATIC), and China Aerospace Long March International Trading Co. (ALIT) also tried their luck at World defense Show this year.
On the other hand, India-based Anant Bindal (Founder of Shoghi) and Brigadier Ram Chillar (works for C1 cyber Solution at Crown group) known for serving their cyber offensive capabilities in both Asia and the Middle East are also moving toward the industry of Military Drones.
Anant Bindal initiates the selling of Military drones from its UAE-based firm ‘Stratign’. After a facelift in a significant market, the conglomerate Stratign has added drones to its Online Catalog which has been pitching clients at the Arab defense shows for 1 year. Now the firm Stratign is providing the Military Grade Helicopter Drone ‘STN-UVH10', dedicated to intelligence gathering. The technical characteristics of this Military Grade Helicopter Drone are similar to those of the UAV designed by Turkish defense engineering company TITRA.
By seeing the adaptation of this new technology among Asian Nations like India, China, and Israel, every other Nation seemed to be rushing to acquire armed drones. For instance, Now, Turkey is selling drones to Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, and other countries. Iran is providing drones all over the Middle East and also transferring them to Ethiopia, Venezuela, and other states.
In sum, military drones are here to stay, and many countries have the opportunity to carve out a major chunk of this business.