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Military Factory

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones

Last Updated: 5/26/2015

No other aircraft group is paid as much attention today as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - or UAV - generically referred to as drones.


Decades of research and practical use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) - popularly called drones - has revealed an ever-growing stable of unmanned remote-piloted or completely autonomous systems. This category of aircraft - a far cry from the biplanes of World War 1 - has evolved in various forms now to include armed combat vehicles, resupply vehicles, and reconnaissance platforms servicing military, security, police, and civilian/science industries alike. The future will hold more advanced types with longer loitering times and wholly autonomous problem-solving skills with capabilities like in-flight refueling and solar power for more increased operational ranges.


There are a total of (109) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below by alphanumeric order descending. Flag images indicative of country of origin.




2001
AAI MQ-19 Aerosonde
The Aerosonde UAV is a small-class aircraft developed for meteorological data collection.
Thumbnail picture of the AAI MQ-19 Aerosonde

2001
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 Tactical
The AAI RQ-7 Shadow UAV has been used operationally over the skies of Iraq.
Thumbnail picture of the AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 Tactical

2016
ADCOM Systems United 40
The ADCOM Systems United 40 UAV is being developed for long endurance reconnaissance and surveillance sorties with possible arming capabilities in the future.
Thumbnail picture of the ADCOM Systems United 40

2003
AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven
Over 13,000 Raven SUAVs have been delivered from AeroVironment to a variety of global operators, making it the most widely used UAV of its kind.
Thumbnail picture of the AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven

2002
AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye
Over 1,000 examples of the AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye were completed for delivery to the United States Marine Corps.
Thumbnail picture of the AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye

2008
AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma
The AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma is a small-class surveillance UAV utilized in large numbers by the US military.
Thumbnail picture of the AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma

2015
Airbus DS Tanan 300
In keeping up with global competitors, Airbus Group is developing a Vertical Take-Off and Landing Unmanned Aircraft System in the Tanan 300.
Thumbnail picture of the Airbus DS Tanan 300

2012
Aisheng ASN-209 (Silver Eagle)
The Aisheng ASN-209 was a joint-development of a MAME UAV system between China and Egypt.
Thumbnail picture of the Aisheng ASN-209 (Silver Eagle)

2015
ARCA AirStrato
The Romanian ARCA AirStrato line of UAVs is being developed as a commercial product with production set to begin in the United States during 2015.
Thumbnail picture of the ARCA AirStrato

2009
Arcturus T-20
Up to 160 units of the Arcturus T-20 are planned for US military procurement.
Thumbnail picture of the Arcturus T-20

2013
Aurora Flight Sciences Orion
The Aurora Orion program hopes to promote an unmanned aerial system with 120-hour endurance and operational altitudes of 20,000 feet by the end of development.
Thumbnail picture of the Aurora Flight Sciences Orion

1997
BAe QF-4 (McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II)
The BAe QF-4 became a full-scale, reusable target drone for the USAF and USN based on the Vietnam War-era McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter.
Thumbnail picture of the BAe QF-4 (McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II)

2009
BAe Systems Mantis
The BAe Systems Mantis program will help evolve a future British-French UAV initiative.
Thumbnail picture of the BAe Systems Mantis

2018
BAe Systems Taranis
The BAe Taranis is an indigenous UK attempt at a reusable and capable UCAV system.
Thumbnail picture of the BAe Systems Taranis

1998
Bell Eagle Eye (Model 918)
The interesting Bell Helicopter Eagle Eye tilt-rotor UAV has, to this point, failed to generate much market interest as of yet.
Thumbnail picture of the Bell Eagle Eye (Model 918)

2006
Black Hornet Nano
The Black Hornet Nano represents another growing segment of the drone military market - Micro UAVs.
Thumbnail picture of the Black Hornet Nano

1980
Boeing / Hughes AH-6 / MH-6 Little Bird
The AH/MH-6 Little Bird has proven something of a versatile God-send to US Army Special Forces troops on more than one occasion.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing / Hughes AH-6 / MH-6 Little Bird

1997
Boeing / McDonnell Douglas X-36
The remote-piloted Boeing X-36 technology demonstrator was developed to further research in a tailless fighter design.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing / McDonnell Douglas X-36

2014
Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack (Integrator)
Formerly known as the Integrator, the Boeing Insitu RQ-21 UAV is now recognized as the Blackjack.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack (Integrator)

2005
Boeing Insitu ScanEagle
The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle drone has already proven its worth over the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq with over 10,000 hours of flying time recorded.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle

2012
Boeing MQ-18 Hummingbird (A160)
The Boeing Hummingbird UAV helicopter is actively being reviewed by various US defense branches.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing MQ-18 Hummingbird (A160)

2015
Boeing Phantom Eye
The Phantom Eye will provide commanders with aerial reconnaissance for up to four straight days.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing Phantom Eye

2015
Boeing QF-16 (Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon)
Boeing is converting a retired stock of Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters for the unmanned target drone role.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing QF-16 (Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon)

2002
Boeing X-45
The Boeing X-45A made its maiden flight on May 22nd, 2002 though the program ultimately netted just two examples in all.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing X-45

2007
Boeing X-48
The Boeing X-48 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is intended as a data-collecting platform for research into blended wing body UAV design.
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing X-48

2012
CASC CH-3 Rainbow
The CASC CH-3 is just one in a series of UAVs found under the Rainbow name.
Thumbnail picture of the CASC CH-3 Rainbow

2014
CASIC WJ-600
The CASIC WJ-600 attack drone is currently in development for Chinese military service.
Thumbnail picture of the CASIC WJ-600

2014
Chengdu Pterodactyl I (Wing Loong)
The Chengdu Pterdodactyl I UAV drone will serve double-duty for the Chinese as it can be modified to undertake the armed UCAV role.
Thumbnail picture of the Chengdu Pterodactyl I (Wing Loong)

2010
DARPA Falcon HTV-2
The Falcon HTV-2 system is experimenting with Mach 20 speeds, sub-orbital work and unmanned flight - though both developmental vehicles have been lost to date.
Thumbnail picture of the DARPA Falcon HTV-2

2012
DARPA KQ-X (Global Hawk)
Two Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAVs participated in NASA research regarding UAVs and inflight refuleing.
Thumbnail picture of the DARPA KQ-X (Global Hawk)

2018
Dassault nEUROn
The nEUROn UCAV is a european-based consortium project being led by the French concern of Dassault.
Thumbnail picture of the Dassault nEUROn

2016
Denel Dynamics Bateleur
The South African Denel Dynamics Bateleur is an impressive looking UAV system.
Thumbnail picture of the Denel Dynamics Bateleur

2020
DRDO AURA
The DRDO AURA unmanned combat air vehicle is in the early stages of development.
Thumbnail picture of the DRDO AURA

2012
DRDO Nishant
The DRDO Nishant is an indigenous Indian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle primarily utilized in the intelligence-gathering role for the army and air force.
Thumbnail picture of the DRDO Nishant

2018
DRDO Rustom (Warrior)
The DRDO Rustom series of UAVs is breaking new ground for the Indian aviation industry.
Thumbnail picture of the DRDO Rustom (Warrior)

2008
EADS Harfang
French EADS Harfang Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have already seen considerable service over Afghanistan, Libya and Mali.
Thumbnail picture of the EADS Harfang

2018
EADS Talarion
The Talarion UAV was unveiled by EADS at the 2009 Paris Airshow as a European alternative to the American Global Hawk system.
Thumbnail picture of the EADS Talarion

2003
Elbit Hermes 450
The Elbit Hermes 450 is utilized in the communications, reconnaissance and surveillance roles though at least one Israeli form is thought to be armed.
Thumbnail picture of the Elbit Hermes 450

2012
Elbit Hermes 900 (Kochav)
The Elbit Hermes 900 features an expanded role profile when compared to the earlier Hermes 450 series.
Thumbnail picture of the Elbit Hermes 900 (Kochav)

2006
Elbit Skylark
The Israeli Elbit Systems Skylark UAV series has taken hold in the inventories of several world powers.
Thumbnail picture of the Elbit Skylark

2000
EMT Luna X-2000
The Luna X-2000 is currently in service with the German Army.
Thumbnail picture of the EMT Luna X-2000

2015
General Atomics Avenger (Predator C)
The General Atomics Avenger is a first in American UAV design, fitting a powerful jet engine instead of a propeller engine.
Thumbnail picture of the General Atomics Avenger (Predator C)

2006
General Atomics Guardian
The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency operates several specially-modified MQ-9 Reapers as the Guardian.
Thumbnail picture of the General Atomics Guardian

1995
General Atomics MQ-1 Predator (Predator A)
The MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has found success as an unarmed reconnaissance platform and as a missile-armed hunter.
Thumbnail picture of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator (Predator A)

2009
General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle (Sky Warrior)
The General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle is proposed upgrade to the existing, and proven, MQ-1 Predator UAV drone line.
Thumbnail picture of the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle (Sky Warrior)

2004
General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B)
The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper maintains a role of hunter-killer for the United States Air Force.
Thumbnail picture of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B)

2016
General Atomics Sea Avenger
The General Atomics Sea Avenger is a navalized version of the land-based Avenger offering and intended to complete for the US DoD UCLASS program.
Thumbnail picture of the General Atomics Sea Avenger

1995
Ghods Ababil (Swallow)
The Iranian Ghods Abibil UAV is sent airborne via a launch rail fitted to the back of an army utility truck.
Thumbnail picture of the Ghods Ababil (Swallow)

1981
Ghods Mohajer / Mersad (Migrant)
The Ghods Mohajer drone was one of the first successful UAV endeavors undertaken by the nation of Iran.
Thumbnail picture of the Ghods Mohajer / Mersad (Migrant)

2004
Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw
Introduced in 2004, the Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw fulfills a variety of roles for the U.S. military including that of target drone and UAV training.
Thumbnail picture of the Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw

2016
Guizhou Soar Dragon (Soar Eagle)
The Guizhou Soar Eagle UAV will begin service as an unmanned drone before being developed into a more lethal armed variant.
Thumbnail picture of the Guizhou Soar Dragon (Soar Eagle)

2016
Guizhou Sparrow Hawk II
The Guizhou Sparrow Hawk II achieved first flight in 2011 and showcases an appearance not unlike the American Predator family of UAVs.
Thumbnail picture of the Guizhou Sparrow Hawk II

2008
Guizhou WZ-2000 (WuZhen-2000 / WZ-9)
The Guizhou WZ-2000 UCAV is a multi-role armed platform.
Thumbnail picture of the Guizhou WZ-2000 (WuZhen-2000 / WZ-9)

2008
Honeywell RQ-16 T-Hawk (Tarantula Hawk)
The Honeywell RQ-16 T-Hawk UAV provides a portable VTOL UAV system to forward-deployed troops.
Thumbnail picture of the Honeywell RQ-16 T-Hawk (Tarantula Hawk)

2017
Hongdu Lijian (Sharp Sword)
The Hongdu Lijian UCAV was photographed undertaking its maiden flight in November of 2013.
Thumbnail picture of the Hongdu Lijian (Sharp Sword)

1996
IAI / TRW RQ-5 Hunter
The IAI Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is operated by two personnel in a ground control station, offering full control over the aircraft component.
Thumbnail picture of the IAI / TRW RQ-5 Hunter

2005
IAI Harop (Harpy)
The IAI Harop is a disposable half-UAV, half-missile drone system with inherent surveillance capabilities.
Thumbnail picture of the IAI Harop (Harpy)

2005
IAI Heron / Machatz-1
The IAI Heron has seen a blooming export market realize its potential.
Thumbnail picture of the IAI Heron / Machatz-1

2011
IAI Panther
The IAI Panther is a unique tilt-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle drone offering.
Thumbnail picture of the IAI Panther

1986
IAI RQ-2 Pioneer
The RQ-2 Pioneer truly lived up to her namesake in the realm of UAV technology, seeing action beginning with the Persian Gulf War of 1991.
Thumbnail picture of the IAI RQ-2 Pioneer

1981
IAI Scout
The IAI Scout went on to be replaced by the IAI Searcher Unmanned Aerial Vehicle of 1992.
Thumbnail picture of the IAI Scout

1992
IAI Searcher
The IAI Searcher UAV replaced both the IAI Scout and Tadiran Mastiff UAV types in Israeli Army service.
Thumbnail picture of the IAI Searcher

2014
IAI Super Heron
Unveiled at the 2014 Singapore Air Show was the new IAI Super Heron, a dramatically revised version of the original Heron UAV.
Thumbnail picture of the IAI Super Heron

2017
IAIO Fotros (Fallen Angel)
In November of 2013, the IAIO Fotros UCAV was unveiled to the public by Iranian officials.
Thumbnail picture of the IAIO Fotros (Fallen Angel)

2014
IAIO Yasir (Yasseer)
The IAIO Yasir has a design influenced by a captured American Boeing ScanEagle drone from 2012.
Thumbnail picture of the IAIO Yasir (Yasseer)

2012
Jordan Falcon
The Jordan Falcon is a joint development effort intended to bring UAV capabilities to the Jordanian military.
Thumbnail picture of the Jordan Falcon

1994
Kaman K-MAX (K-1200)
The Kaman K-MAX medium lift helicopter is currently under evaluation as an unmanned logistics flight system for the US military.
Thumbnail picture of the Kaman K-MAX (K-1200)

2016
Kamov Ka-175
Kamov unveiled plans for their Ka-175 unmanned helicopter drone in August of 2014.
Thumbnail picture of the Kamov Ka-175

2010
Karrar (Striker)
The Karrar UCAV is the latest in a growing line of indigenous Iranian drone offerings.
Thumbnail picture of the Karrar (Striker)

2014
Latitude Engineering Hybrid Quadcopter
The Latitude Engineering Hybrid Quadcopter has garnered the attention of the United States Navy.
Thumbnail picture of the Latitude Engineering Hybrid Quadcopter

1996
Lockheed / Boeing RQ-3 DarkStar
The initial Lockheed DarkStar prototype of 1996 crashed on its second flight leading to its termination in a 1999 review.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed / Boeing RQ-3 DarkStar

1969
Lockheed D-21
The U.S. maintained some 38 of the Lockheed D-21 fast reconnaissance drones for a short time.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed D-21

2006
Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk III
The Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk III is a larger, lighter, and more robust development of the original Desert Hawk UAV of 2003.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk III

2011
Lockheed Martin Fury 1500
The Lockheed Fury 1500 Unmanned Air System has been developed with ISR and IEW roles in mind.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed Martin Fury 1500

2005
Lockheed Martin Polecat (P-175)
The sole Lockheed P-175 Polecat UAV aircraft crashed in 2006, leading to program termination by the end of the year.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed Martin Polecat (P-175)

2012
Lockheed Martin Quad Indago
The compact, lightweight, all-weather Lockheed Martin Indago system is marketed for military, commercial, and civilian use.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed Martin Quad Indago

2007
Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel
The Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel UAV has been an active participant in US operations all over the world.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel

2013
Lockheed Martin X-56A (MUTT)
The Lockheed X-56A unmanned experimental air vehicle is being used to further research active flutter control.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed Martin X-56A (MUTT)

1982
Lockheed MQM-105 Aquila TADAR
Despite it never seeing production, just under 1 billion USD was spent on developing the Aquila UAV.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed MQM-105 Aquila TADAR

2030
Lockheed SR-72
Lockheed Martin will utilize the collected data from the DARPA Falcon HTV-2 program to power the capabilities of its new SR-72.
Thumbnail picture of the Lockheed SR-72

2015
Mikoyan Skat
The Mikoyan Skat UAV has now evolved into an armed Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle project.
Thumbnail picture of the Mikoyan Skat

2011
MTIS Pegaz 011
The MTIS Pegaz 011 is a locally-designed and developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle of Serbian origin.
Thumbnail picture of the MTIS Pegaz 011

2013
NESCOM Burraq
The NESCOM Burraq represents the first locally-developed and manufactured drone for the nation of Pakistan.
Thumbnail picture of the NESCOM Burraq

2015
NORINCO Sharp Eyes III
The Sharp Eyes III is an in-development helicopter drone UAV from the NORINCO concern of China.
Thumbnail picture of the NORINCO Sharp Eyes III

2016
NORINCO Sky Saker
The NORINCO Sky Saker is something of a Chinese take on the American General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper attack drone.
Thumbnail picture of the NORINCO Sky Saker

2015
Northrop Grumman / Bell Fire-X (MQ-8C)
The Northrop Grumman-Bell Fire-X UAV is intended for autonomous overwater cargo resupply of at-sea U.S. naval forces.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman / Bell Fire-X (MQ-8C)

2010
Northrop Grumman EURO HAWK
The Northrop Grumman EURO HAWK was intended to serve the German military in the SIGINT role before being cancelled during 2013.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman EURO HAWK

2017
Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton
The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is the naval equivalent of the land-based RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV with notable changes to suit the maritime role.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

2009
Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout
The Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout UAH series intends to bring a whole level of overwater resupply capabilities to the USN.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout

2015
Northrop Grumman RQ-180
The Northrop Grumman RQ-180 is being developed as a high-speed, stealth-minded, airspace-penetrating UAV reconnaissance platform.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman RQ-180

2001
Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk
The Northrop Grumman Global Hawk drone features a 36-hour in-flight endurance time and has seen production reach nearly 50 units.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk

2012
Northrop Grumman Sandstorm
The Northrop Grumman Sandstorm is offered as a budget trainer for the more expensive UAV systems such as Predator and Reaper.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman Sandstorm

2003
Northrop Grumman X-47A Pegasus
The Northrop Grumman X-47A UCAV was designed with combat capabilities from the start.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman X-47A Pegasus

2011
Northrop Grumman X-47B
The Northrop Grumman X-47B is a navalized version of the land-based X-47A UCAV.
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop Grumman X-47B

2015
Piaggio P.1HH Hammerhead
The storied Italian concern of Piaggio is entering the realm of UAV development with its impressive-looking P.1HH Hammerhead design.
Thumbnail picture of the Piaggio P.1HH Hammerhead

1941
Radioplane OQ-2
The Radioplane OQ-2 aerial target drone was the first quantitative UAV purchase for the United States.
Thumbnail picture of the Radioplane OQ-2

2017
Rostech Chirok (Teal)
The Russian Rostech Chirok UAV - showcased in prototype form at Innoprom 2014 - is being developed with a hovercraft capability in mind.
Thumbnail picture of the Rostech Chirok (Teal)

1968
Ryan AQM-91 Firefly / Compass Arrow
The stealthy, reconnaissance-minded Ryan AQM-91 Firefly was also known under the name of Compass Arrow during its short time as a long-range reconnaissance drone.
Thumbnail picture of the Ryan AQM-91 Firefly / Compass Arrow

2013
Saab Skeldar
The Skeldar was developed by the Swedish Saab concern as a rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
Thumbnail picture of the Saab Skeldar

2001
SAGEM Sperwer (Sparrowhawk)
Many SAGEM Sperwer operators have moved on to more modern UAV systems, leaving the French as primary operators of the type.
Thumbnail picture of the SAGEM Sperwer (Sparrowhawk)

2006
Schiebel Camcopter S-100
The Schiebel Camcopter S-100 is a rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle of Austrian origin.
Thumbnail picture of the Schiebel Camcopter S-100

2009
SELEX Galileo Falco
The Italian Galileo FALCO UAV can be now be purchased as armed or unarmed depending on mission requirements.
Thumbnail picture of the SELEX Galileo Falco

2012
Shahed 129
The Shahed 129 reconnaissance UAV was introduced by Iran in 2012 with production ongoing.
Thumbnail picture of the Shahed 129

2006
SKNL PRz PR-5 Wiewior Plus
The SKNL PR-5 Polish reconnaissance-minded Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is under development with Rzeszow University.
Thumbnail picture of the SKNL PRz PR-5 Wiewior Plus

2015
Sukhoi Zond (Series)
The Sukhoi Zond series of UAVs will cover a spectrum of useful communications relay and environmental monitoring roles for Russia.
Thumbnail picture of the Sukhoi Zond (Series)

1981
Tadiran Mastiff
Combat experience in the 1970s drove the Israeli Defense Force to develop such measures as the Tadiran Mastiff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Thumbnail picture of the Tadiran Mastiff

2016
TAI Anka
The TAI Anka Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has been formally ordered by the Turkish military for deliveries to begin sometime in 2016.
Thumbnail picture of the TAI Anka

2014
Thales Watchkeeper WK450
The Thales Watchkeeper WK450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is the British-modified equivalent of the Israeli Elbit Hermes 450 UAV series.
Thumbnail picture of the Thales Watchkeeper WK450

2008
Utva Vrabac
The Utva Vrabac is intended as a reconnaissance UAV for the forces of Serbia.
Thumbnail picture of the Utva Vrabac

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