The U.K. government says it has sold more than $1 billion worth of surveillance drones to the U.N. Security Council in a move that the agency calls a major milestone in its mission to bring drones to peacekeeping missions.
The Defense Ministry said on Thursday it had sold three new drones to member countries at a price of around $5 million each, the highest in a year.
The U.NSIC report said the drones were built by two companies in Britain and France.
sales included three U.
Ns. surveillance drones, a Dji drone and two commercial drones, which U.A.E. called “military grade.”
U.N.-brokered peacekeeping efforts to protect civilians in conflict zones have relied heavily on the drones.
The unmanned aerial vehicles are used to hunt and capture suspected combatants and insurgents, while other teams of international troops carry out intelligence gathering and other duties.
The new sales, which the U-K.
Defense Ministry confirmed Thursday, mark a major step forward in the UNSIC’s effort to help stop the proliferation of drones, especially in the conflict zone.
The drone industry is in the midst of a boom that has seen U.s. manufacturers ramp up production and expand into other markets, with the U.-S.
military spending more than double the amount spent by U. nations on drone defense in recent years.
In its report, U.n. peacekeepers say the drones are a key part of their work, and U.ns. officials have said the weapons can be used to “capture or kill individuals who are threatening peace or stability.”