America

'Global Race' Under Way To Develop Drones, 'Washington Post' Reports

2007 file photo of a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone. i i

2007 file photo of a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ethan Miller/Getty Images
2007 file photo of a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone.

2007 file photo of a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

"More than 50 countries have purchased surveillance drones, and many have started in-country development programs for armed versions because no nation is exporting weaponized drones beyond a handful of sales between the United States and its closest allies," The Washington Post reports this morning.

The Post adds that:

"Defense spending on drones has become the most dynamic sector of the world's aerospace industry, according to a report by the Teal Group in Fairfax. The group's 2011 market study estimated that in the coming decade global spending on drones will double, reaching $94 billion."

A Teal Group press release about that study is posted here.

The country moving fastest, according to the Post: China. Teal Group notes, though, that it expects "the U.S. will account for 77 percent of the worldwide RDT&E [research, development, testing and evaluation] spending on UAV [unmanned aerial vehicles] technology over the next decade, and about 69 percent of the procurement."

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