6 Military Drones You Should Know About

A plane sitting on top of a grass covered field

Drones are military aircraft that can perform various military operations, including intelligence gathering and combat. Drones were first used by the military in World War I to monitor enemy positions. Nowadays, there are many different types of military drones (some classified) which serve a variety of purposes. The following information is for educational purposes only and does not represent an endorsement or position on any US military operation by this site’s creators or maintainers–so please don’t try to use these drones for anything illegal! This list will be updated as new cases occur, so check back if you want to stay up-to-date with all your drone needs.

1. The MQ-1 Predator

A plane flying over a field

You would be hard pressed to find military drones mentioned more often than the MQ-1 Predator military drone, which is also called an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This military UAV can carry up to two Hellfire missiles and has served in military operations over Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen.

2. The MQ-9 Reaper

A small airplane flying high up in the air

The military has developed military drones with longer flight times, more payload capacity, and greater range than the Predator military drone. The biggest of these military drones is called the MQ-9 Reaper military UAV, which can fly 20 hours at a time and carry up to four Hellfire missiles.

3. China’s military drones

The United States military has not been the only military to use military drones, though it was one of the first. The Chinese military made great strides in its military drone program when it successfully used military drones to spy on Japan during a September 2010 dispute between the two countries over some uninhabited islands.

4. Iran’s military drones

Iran has also consistently stayed at the forefront of military drone development. The Iranian military claimed to demonstrate its military drones in February 2013 during military drills, though it is unclear whether these military drones had any real military capability.

5. Military UAVs in the future

It is unclear what will happen with military drones in the future, though it seems likely that military forces around the world will continue to adopt military drones. This is especially true when you consider military drones like the X-47B military UAV, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make military decisions.

6. Military drones for civilian use

It is also worth noting that military drones will not be limited to military use. The military drone program has proven to be a good way for countries around the world to develop military technology, and as civilian technology advances it is likely military technology will make its way into civilian drones.


However, military drones can do more than just carry missiles. Many military drones serve as robotic planes, which military forces can use to gather military intelligence. While military drone development is definitely focused on military technology, it is good to know that there are civilian uses for military drones as well.

Did you like this article? Click an icon below to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and more!

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter