20:27 GMT31 May 2020
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    A UK-based NGO charts the downing of military drones around the world as part of its research into the proliferation in the manufacture, selling and use of the Unmanned Ariel Vehicles.

    Drone Wars UK has documented a further 19 military Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs), aka drones, which have crashed or been shot down, mostly between November 2019 and March 2020. The British-based NGO announced on Wednesday that their database has been updated with the additional crashes.

    ​"Half of the dozen or so drones brought down to earth since the beginning of the year were Turkish, reflecting their increasing use", the latest report from Drone Wars UK said.

    They point out that of the Turkish drones to crash, they were documented as occurring in Turkey, Libya and Syria with five out of seven "apparently being brought down by enemy fire".

    Six out of 19 drone crashes recorded were in Libya, during the first quarter of 2020 alone.

    Drone Wars UK notes that they only record crashes or shoot-downs of UAV's in their database if they are backed up by pictures or video. They point out that Libyan militias and Syrian state media have made claims of "many more" Turkish drones being shot down but without photo or video evidence being provided. This "does not meant they didn't happen", the organisation hastened to add.

    The NGO published a table offering an overview of, "who is now developing and using large military drones and, for the largest use – the US – where those drones are being used".

    Drone UK Table of Crashed Military UAVs 2016 - 2019
    © Photo : Drone Wars UK
    Drone UK Table of Crashed Military UAVs 2016 - 2019

    The organisation also provides a pie chart outlying the location of crashed US military drones. According to their data, 28% of crashed UAVs belonging to the US in were in Afghanistan, 17% were in the United States, 10% were in Iraq and 14% were in undisclosed locations.

    Location-US-Drone-Crashes-2015-19

    Other locations which were disclosed include Turkey, Yemen, Djibouti, Europe, Iran, Syria and Libya.

    ​The US Air force used to regularly detail UAV crashes in their investigation reports, "but the release of these reports has become much rarer since then, even though, of course, USAF drones have continued to crash", Drone Wars UK says.

    The organisation has raised the crash rate of military drones, on average twice a month, as one of a number of reasons why they oppose the use of military drones over UK skies.

     

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