AK Rockefeller (CC BY-SA 2.0)

More drones are being transferred between countries than ever before, says the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Between 2010 and 2014, the organization’s data shows, 439 drones passed through international hands, compared with 322 in the previous five years. Israel delivered 165 units. The U.S. came in second with 132, followed by Italy at 37. Drones with the capacity to make armed strikes made up just 2.5 percent of overall trade, at 11 out of 439 units shipped during the period.

Since 1985, Israel has exported the majority of drones (60.7 percent), while China has exported the smallest portion (0.9 percent).

The Guardian reports:

Armed drones were exported for the first time in 2007 when the UK received a delivery of two MQ-9 Reaper drones from the US, which were initially used in the Afghanistan conflict.

… prompted US to open up its own trade in armed drones to friendly and allied countries – previously it was just exporting to the UK.

In 2013, the US sent the huge (15-tonne) 1 Global Hawk to Germany. It is the largest drone ever exported, as well as the most expensive ($130m) and the one with the biggest range of travel (14,000km). Orders have also been placed by Nato, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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