Number of Armed UAVs Set To Expand Significantly

The performance of relatively low cost UAVs like the Bayraktar TB2 in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh is expected to accelerate the proliferation of armed UAVs around the world.
Credit: Baykar

While armed UAVs arguably have been the most high-profile element of air power in the 21st century, rarely have they been more central to military thinking around the world than they are today.

A relatively minor, six-week clash between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the latter part of 2020 not only reinforced the utility of these systems, but also demonstrated how even militaries that are not exceptionally well financed or technologically advanced are able to operate them to devastating effect.


With countries now reassessing their requirements in this domain following the recent demonstrations of both operational effectiveness and accessibility, that number is likely to expand significantly as the 2020s progress.