'Global Race' Under Way To Develop Drones, 'Washington Post' Reports : The Two-Way China is thought to be moving fastest. Still, the U.S. is expected to account for more than three-quarters of the spending on research and development, and nearly that much of the purchases.
NPR logo 'Global Race' Under Way To Develop Drones, 'Washington Post' Reports

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

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

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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."