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Armed drones around the world

The military use of armed drones in the Mideast and Afghanistan has brought more countries and companies into the market for such weapons. Here are some of the uncrewed aerial vehicles that are known to carry weapons or that might be adapted to carry them.

An MQ-9 Reaper, armed with GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, flies over southern Afghanistan in an undated photo.

Manufacturer: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems
Estimated cost: $56.5 million, fully armed system of four aircraft, ground control station, satellite link*
Wingspan: 66 feet
Length: 36 feet
Maximum payload (including electronics, weapons): 3,800 pounds
Range: 1,150 miles
Ceiling: 50,000 feet
Cruising speed: 230 mph
Maximum speed: 300 mph
Source: U.S. Air Force
http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Display/tabid/224/Article/104470/mq-9-reaper.aspx
Cost estimate: Defense Department, Bureau of Investigation and International Institute of International Studies

Lt. Col.. Leslie Pratt / U.S. Air Force via AP
An MQ-1 Predator takes off from Creech Air Force Base for a training sortie over the Nevada desert in 2007.

Manufacturer: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (U.S.)
Estimated cost: $20 million, fully armed*
Wingspan: 55 feet
Length: 27 feet
Maximum payload: 450 pounds
Range: 770 miles
Ceiling: 25,000 feet
Cruising speed: 84 mph
Maximum speed 135 mph
Source: U.S. Air Force
http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=122
*Cost estimate: Department of Defense, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and International Institute for Strategic Studies
Ssgt Brian Ferguson / U.S. Air Force
A photo illustration provided by Denel Dynamics shows the company's new Seeker 400. The Seeker 400 is a slightly larger version of an existing aircraft -- but was developed to carry munitions. Denel is owned by the government of South Africa.

Denel Dynamics Seeker 400 (South Africa)
Cost: Not revealed
Wingspan: 33 feet
Length: N/A
Maximum payload: 220 pounds
Range: 155 miles
Ceiling: 18,000 feet
Maximum speed: 138 mph
Source: http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/A_U.S. news/US-news-PDFs/Denel_Dynamics_Product_Brochure.pdf
Denel Dynamics
A Seeker UAV monitors the skies above at an army base in Pretoria, South Africa, on Aug. 9, 2002, in preparation for a United Nations summit. The Seeker 400 is a slightly larger version of this aircraft. It is built by the state-owned company Denel Dynamics of South Africa. Juda Ngwenya / Reuters
The Heron is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance, MALE, drone. The Heron has been used by coalition forces in Afghanistan for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Manufacturer: Israel Aerospace Industries Cost: N/A
Wingspan: 54 feet
Length: 28 feet
Payload: 551 pounds
Range/endurance: 217 miles / 40 hours
Ceiling: 30,000 feet
Maximum speed: N/A
Cruising speed: N/A
Source: Israel Aerospace Industries
http://www.iai.co.il/18900-16382-en/BusinessAreas_UnmannedAirSystems_HeronFamily.aspx?btl=1
Israel Aerospace Industries via Getty Images
An Israeli Heron TP drone, known as the Eitan, flies during a media presentation on Feb. 21, 2010, south of Tel Aviv.

Manufacturer: Israel Aerospace Industries
Cost: Not available
Wingspan: 85 feet
Length: 46 feet
Typical payload: 2,200 pounds
Range/endurance: 36 hours
Ceiling: 45,000 feet
Maximum speed: Not available
Cruising speed: Not available
Source: Israel Aerospace Industries
http://www.iai.co.il/18900-37204-en/BusinessAreas_UnmannedAirSystems_HeronFamily.aspx?btl=1
Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP - Getty Images
An Elbit Systems Ltd. Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle sits at the air base in the central Swiss town of Emmen during a media presentation on Oct.16, 2012. The Swiss air force was evaluating reconnaissance drones from two Israeli companies to replace its existing systems. It's unclear whether this drone has been demonstrated to be capable of carrying weapons.

Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel)
Cost: Not available
Wingspan: 49 feet
Length: 27 feet
Typical payload: 770 pounds
Range/endurance: 36 hours
Ceiling: 30,000 feet
Maximum speed: 137 mph
Cruising speed: 70 mph
Source: Israeli Elbit Systems Ltd.
http://www.elbitsystems.com/elbitmain/area-in2.asp?parent=3&num=31&num2=31
http://defense-update.com/features/2009/december/hermes900_first_flight_091209.html
Pascal Lauener / REUTERS
This UAV -- with Wing Loong in letters on the fuselage but also called the Yi Long -- is displayed in preparation for the 9th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, known as Airshow China 2012, in Zhuhai on Nov. 10, 2012. Data on this aircraft is spotty, but it is similar in appearance to the Reaper, although details available on wingspan, length and payload would make it smaller than a Predator.

A similar UAV, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. CH-4, was also shown at the Zhuhai air show, but as a full-scale model.

Manufacturer: Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute (China)
Cost: About $1 million, according to one account, although it's not clear what systems would be included.
Wingspan: 46 feet
Length: 30 feet
Payload: 220 pounds
Maximum speed: 174 mph
Range/endurance: 2,485 miles
Sources:
http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3ae2c4ebce-729c-4722-b293-b3de048981d3
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121126/DEFREG03/311260001/China-8217-s-Unmanned-Aircraft-Evolve-from-Figment-Reality?odyssey=tab|topnews|img|FRONTPAGE
Zhong Fan Zh / Imaginechina via AP
Raytheon's Cobra was designed as a low-cost platform for science and research purposes. But a new small, guided munition was tested from a Cobra at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona last August, the company says.

Raytheon Cobra
Wingspan: 10.2 feet
Length: 9.3 feet
Payload: 25 pounds
Maximum speed: 92 mph
Cruising speed: 58-69 mph
Range/endurance: Not available
Ceiling: Not available
Sources:
http://xpda.com/junkmail/junk185/Cobra_UAS_Data_Sheet.pdf
http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2152
Raytheon via PR NEWSWIRE
Turkey's first large drone -- the Anka, or Phoenix -- is seen during a roll-out ceremony at TAI (Turkish Aerospace Space Industries) near Ankara, on July 16, 2010. It is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, or MALE, drone that is similar in size to the Predator.

Turkey has operated Israeli-made surveillance drones for years. Unable to by sophisticated U.S. drones, Turkey developed its own. Last fall, Turkish defense officials said that TAI had begun research and development on an armed variant.

Manufacturer: TAI (Turkey)
Cost: Not available
Wingspan: 57 feet
Length: 26.2 feet
Maximum payload: 440 pounds
Range/endurance: 3,000 miles, 24 hours
Ceiling: 30,000 feet
Cruising speed: 126 mph
Maximum speed: 135 mph
Sources:
TAI brochure (PDF): http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/A_U.S. news/US-news-PDFs/anka.pdf
TAI website: https://www.tai.com.tr/en/project/anka-medium-altitude-long-endurance-uav-system
Burhan Ozbilici / AP