The decision by India’s National Disaster Response Force to use drones to help Nepal map the scale of devastation caused by last month’s earthquake indicates how India has enthusiastically taken to these pilot-less aircraft — the so-called eyes in the sky.
With 22.5 per cent the world’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imports, between 1985 and 2014, India ranks first among drone-importing nations, followed by United Kingdom and France. UAVs, or drones as they are commonly known, are pilotless aerial vehicles used for reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence gathering and aerial combat missions.
The advantage of UAVs is that they come at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft with no risk to human lives. The data here relate to drone/UAV transfers (imports/exports) between countries. There are also drones that have been indigenously developed, so the actual number of UAVs possessed by each nation may be different.
Contributed By Sonia Narula