The War in Ukraine Has Revolutionized Drone Warfare,

Gloria Shkurti Özdemir, researcher at SETA Foundation and Rıfat Öncel, defense researcher at SETA Foundation

Modern unmanned aerial vehicles, widely known as drones, have been an indispensable part of warfare for the past two decades. America’s use of Predator drones for reconnaissance missions in the Kosovo War against Serbian forces is known as the first time drones officially entered into the equation. At that time, hardly anyone noticed the capacity of these vehicles to change warfare. By the early 2000s, the United States began to use drones not only for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions but also for precision strikes, starting in Afghanistan.

For some time, the United States, followed by Israel, monopolized not only drone military operations but also the drone market. While these two states took advantage of the military edge provided by drones, it was impossible for other states to develop military drones with the capabilities of Predator, Reaper, or Heron drones. But this is no longer the case.

The success and effectiveness of drones on the battlefield pushed other states to follow suit. Turkey, among a few other states, was successful in developing its own indigenous, technologically advanced drones. This has resulted in what can be called the second drone age, an age where drone technology is no longer monopolized.

As drones started to be used extensively, new operational concepts started to evolve, radically transforming armed conflict. This is especially visible in the Russo-Ukrainian War, where drone usage dominates most of the highlights of the conflict.  Läs artikel