Drones are levelling the playing field in the asymmetrical arms race – and superpowers are worried


The potential use of drones to cripple as much as half of Saudi national oil production this week highlights a growing threat in modern-day conflict. The attack has shown that Saudi Arabia — the world’s third largest defence spender — is incapable of defending arguably its most protected non-military installation in Abqaiq. It is estimated to have halted around 5 per cent of international crude output, has shocked markets and spiked prices globally.

Only a decade ago, such an attack by a low-cost, remote weapon systems was largely unthinkable.

And players on the world stage have seized on the shift, with groups such as Islamic State and Mexican drug cartels creating their own improvised explosive vehicles from rudimentary hobby kits purchased online and in stores.

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Source: ABC News