UK must invest in drones to combat ISIS

Drones are already used for everything from parcel deliveries to groundbreaking photography, but they could soon form the front line of our defence against ISIS and other threats. In a speech delivered today, prime minister David Cameron said that the UK must meet NATO’s commitment to spend 2% of GDP annually on defence, and that it will use much of the money to expand the UK’s use of drones.

The prime minister adds that the UK must also be prepared for the increased threat of cyberterrorism and a more aggressive Russia. David Cameron said: “As prime minister, I will always put the national security of our country first.

“That’s why it is right that we spend 2% of our GDP on defence, because this investment helps to keep us safe. It has only been possible because of the difficult decisions we have made to ensure a strong and secure economy.

“Now we know how much we will spend, what matters next is how we spend it. I have tasked the defence and security chiefs to look specifically at how we do more to counter the threat posed by Islamist extremism.

“This could include more spy planes, drones and special forces. In the last five years, I have seen just how vital these assets are in keeping us safe.”

Drone use in the military

The move will increase the UK’s spending on defence to £47.7 billion a year by 2020, and displays the PM’s growing belief that drones are a feasible method of defence. Information released by the government states that drones were widely used in the Afghanistan conflict as early as 2007.

In 2013, the UK military reportedly had 500 drones in use, designed to amass surveillance data for ground troops, gather intelligence for spy services or remotely deliver weapon payloads. Since then, the UK has increased its drone count to 657, and the new plans should see that number dramatically increase.

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