Tactical drones are not exactly a new technology. Having emerged initially in the 1930s with the United States as a pioneer, the conflict in Ukraine has pushed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the forefront—becoming a must-have equipment in modern warfare.

From the destructive Turkish TB2 to the powerful Predator B, these are 11 of today’s most sophisticated tactical unmanned drones based on advanced technological features, payload capacity, and mounted lethal weaponry.

Not in any particular order

MQ-9B Reaper (Predator B)

Top on the list is the revered MQ-9B Reaper, also known as Predator B, manufactured by General Atomics primarily for the US Air Force.

Hailed as one of the world’s most dangerous military drones, the Reaper is a multi-purpose remote-controlled aircraft larger, heavier, and more capable UAV than its predecessor, MQ-1 Predator. Despite being introduced in the early 2000s, the Reaper has been retrofitted to extend its service life for another fifteen years.

Moreover, the Air Force has spent substantial resources upgrading and sustaining unmanned aircraft in recent years, which evolved the Reaper system from a counter-terrorism surveillance and strike platform to a valuable military warfare asset in the service branch.

Other enhancements include weaponry advancement, fuel extension, and installation of cutting-edge hardening technology capable of dodging hostile jamming systems, among many others, significantly improving the UAV’s resiliency and survivability.

Its system comprises a two-crew ground control station, a communication satellite, and the unmanned drone itself, in addition to a couple of operations and maintenance crews to support missions.