New America's International Security Program Launches Database of Global Drone Imports

Washington, DC — New America’s International Security Program (ISP) recently launched a dynamic new database, “World of Drones,” that tracks the development and exchange of military-grade drones between countries.

In February 2015, the U.S. State Department announced a new policy that would allow certain friendly governments to make purchases of armed drones from the United States, if they agreed to a series of commitments; for example, only using drones when there is a lawful basis to do so. The United States currently has more than 7,000 drones -- some 200 of which are armed -- but it no longer enjoys the monopoly on drones that it had in years past. With the sale of American armed drones to foreign countries, the proliferation of this technology will only increase.

An interactive map on the “Word of Drones” database details each of the 86 countries that, according to New America’s research, have some sort of drone capability, both armed and unarmed. Based on this data, only 3 countries have used drones in combat: the United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom. (Pakistan has claimed to have used drones in combat, but outside sources have not independently verified statements by Pakistani officials.) Nine countries have armed drones already, and of the 68 countries that are producing drones domestically, 11 of them are currently developing armed drones.

The site features a map of drone production globally and an interactive graphic that displays imports and exports of military-grade drones by country. The database will be updated regularly to reflect the most up-to-date information available.

To view the “World of Drones” site, please click here.