In the past decade, drones have become the must-have gadget for a growing number of households and businesses to monitor and track wildlife, shoot still images and videos, and capture live events in real-time. In the global military sector, however, they have been relied on for decades as the growth and development of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, steadily became commonplace. If you are interested in how military drones have evolved over the years, continue reading this brief overview to find out.
The Early Days
In July 1849, the earliest recorded use of an UAV for military purposes occurred. It served as a balloon carrier and marked the first time that air power had been used offensively in naval aviation history. It was during the First World War, however, when pilotless aircraft and UAVs grew and developed in line with emerging television and radio technology with various designers involved in the initial design and planning process to ensure the technology became a long-lasting success. In the years following the First World War and the Second World War, the military continued to test drones with a number of solutions coined during this time still used well into the late 1900s over half a century later.
The Present Day
In the years since drones first took to the skies, they have continued to play a fundamental role in military operations up until the present day. In 2009, for example, Elbit UK was responsible for launching the first test flight of the Hermes 900 Kochav (Star), a medium-size, medium-payload, and medium-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle that was designed to endure long flight timeframes during tactical mission. It has since become one of the most widely used military drones throughout the world and will, more than likely, continue to be relied for decades to come despite emerging technological advancements.
In the late 2000s, the popularity of recreational and commercial drones skyrocketed as households and businesses scrambled to get their hands on the latest and greatest gadget to explode into the mainstream. This, somewhat naturally, also led to a reconsideration of military drones with the emergence of brand-new drone manufacturers in recent years responsible for driving a highly competitive and dynamic global market when it comes to medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles. This comes as Russia, Italy, and South Africa become the latest pioneers to join the likes of China, Israel, and the United States in the global military drone market.
In the mid-1800s, the first recorded use of an unmanned aerial vehicle for military purposed took place. In the years that followed, military drones emerged as a fundamental component of both the First World War and the Second World War. It is in the present day, however, where the true scope of military drones can be fully realised with the Hermes 900 Kochav, in particular, achieving widespread global success. In the years to come, the explosive popularity of recreational drones and the emergence of brand-new drone manufacturers has pointed to a long and successful future.