China is leading the pack in a global race to match U.S. drone capabilities. The communist country has dozens of models under development, and it has shown that it has few qualms about exporting the deadly technology, The Washington Post
|A U.S. agency is working on a list of countries approved to buy drones. (Getty Images Photo)
About 50 countries have bought surveillance drones, and many have begun programs to develop armed versions. The United States is selling weaponized drones to only a handful of close allies, but China has a greater interest in selling the technology, according to the Post.
“The United States doesn’t export many attack drones, so we’re taking advantage of that hole in the market,” the Post quotes Zhang Qiaoliang as saying.
“The main reason is the amazing demand in the market for drones after 9/11,” said the representative of the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, which manufactures many of the most advanced military aircraft for the People’s Liberation Army.
China’s export policies and developments in other countries have caused the United States to reexamine its own policies.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign military sales, is working on lists of countries approved qualify to buy drones with certain capabilities, Vice Adm. William Landay said at a recent Pentagon press briefing.
General Atomics, the manufacturer of the U.S. Predator drones, has received approval to export an unarmed version of the Predator to the Middle East and Latin America. The company is in talks with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, the Post reported.
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