CCTV

Middle Eastern countries prohibited from purchasing armed drones from the United States are flocking to another increasingly influential seller in the Chinese government, according to a new report from the Associated Press, sales that "are helping expand Chinese influence across a region vital to American security interests."

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Editor's note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

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U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Christian Clausen

Welcome to the first, and hopefully final, installment of “No, drones can't fucking do that."

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Wikimedia Commons

They’ve all bought military UAVs from China. I didn’t realize China had advanced so far in military exports.

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Russian Ministry of Defense

Russian engineers have designed munitions specifically for the nation’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fleets, according to RIA-Novosti news agency. The weapon’s combat weight is up to fifty kilograms (110lb). In effect, Russians have built precision-guided weapons for their UAVs. According to RIA, the developers are designating these weapons as “air-borne delivery vehicles.” This family of missiles is weighing fifteen, twenty-five, fifty and one hundred kilograms, and is intended for warhead delivery of up to fifty kilograms for a range of twelve to twenty kilometers (seven to thirteen miles) in the “glide mode,” and up to one hundred kilometers (sixty-two miles) when powered by the engine.

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Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen

The U.S. military has a lot of unmanned aerial vehicles in its arsenal. How do you tell them apart? By numbers, who manufactured them, or what they do? Please. Be exciting. The Pentagon picks names — and while some are awesome, others leave something to be desired. But at least they aren’t as stupid as that time England tried to crowdsource a name for a new research vessel and wound up with a vehicle called “Boaty McBoatface.”

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