Flying high: The world's 'Drone Club'

The world's 'Drone Club' has its newest member...Turkey. Other countries include U.S, Iran, Pakistan, Israel and China.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones are aircrafts controlled by either pilots on the ground or follow a pre-programmed mission.  

The use of military drones has increased in recent years because they're much cheaper then fighter jets and have no risk of losing lives since they're flown remotely or by computer.

There are different types of drones, but two common military uses include:

-Reconnaissance and surveillance

-Armed with missiles and bombs

There used to be only five countries who had the technology to produce armed drones: United States, Israel, China, Iran, and Pakistan.

But the newest member to join the club is Turkey.

Here's a look at drones from each member of this club with:


Drone Name: The Shahed 129 is an aerial combat vehicle first unveiled to the public in late 2012.

Shahed-129, or Witness-129, missile-carrying drone, in an undisclosed location in Iran.

Range: 2,000 km

Endurance: Up to 24 hours

Ceiling: 24,000 feet

Max. Speed: 174 km/h



Drone Name: The MQ-9 Reaper.

This is the first UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.

It is a larger, heavier, and more capable aircraft than the earlier General Atomics MQ-1 Predator.

It can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control MQ-1s.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone.

Range: 1,850 km

Endurance: Up to 42 hours

Ceiling: Up to 50,000 feet

Max. speed: 370 km/h



Drone Name: The Elbit Hermes 900

Israeli is known as the land of drone start-ups.

It has manufactured various military drones and continues to advance the technology.

The most commonly used by the Israelis is the Elbit Hermes 900.

It's a a medium size multi-payload UAV designed for tactical long endurance missions.

It's primary mission is reconnaissance, surveillance and communications relay.

An Elbit Hermes 900 drone showcased in Switzerland in 2012.

Range: 3,000 km

Endurance: 20 hours

Ceiling:18,000 feet

Max. speed: 176 km/h



Drone Name: The CH-4.

This is China’s largest fixed wing UCAV. Externally, the CH-4 looks almost identical to the MQ-9 Reaper, but the only distinct visual difference between two UAVs is that the ventral fin below the V-tail on the MQ-9 is absent on CH-4.

China's CH-4B unmanned armed drone.

Range: 3,500 km

Endurance: Up to 40 hours

Ceiling: 26,000 feet

Max. speed: 235 km/h



Drone Name: The Burraq

Not much technical specifications can be found on Pakistan’s first domestically manufactured drone.

However, last year the Pakistani army said it successfully carried out its first armed drone attack on domestic terrorists.

Range: Unknown

Endurance: Around 12 hours

Ceiling: Up to 15,000 feet

Max. speed: Unknown



Drone Names: The Bayraktar & The Anka

Turkey has two different types of armed drones which are being manufactured domestically. Although they're not currently operational, the army has announced it will be launch. This prompted Ankara to immediately launch its own project which it completed late last year.


Range: Unknown

Endurance: Around 24 hours

Ceiling: Up to 24,000 feet

Max. speed: Unknown

The Bayraktar unmanned armed drone


Range: Unknown

Endurance: Around 24 hours

Ceiling: Up to 30,000 feet

Max. speed: 130 km/h

The Anka unmanned armed drone