Photo: US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson
France announced its intention to start using armed drones on Tuesday, joining several states that use the deadly unmanned aircraft in various military conflicts.
French Defense Minister Florence Parly said that France is going to start the process of arming its drones in the near future.
The move will involve six US-made unmanned aircraft, which will be equipped with “precision guided” weapons from 2019.
“I decided to begin the process of arming our intelligence and surveillance drones,” Parly told lawmakers in the city of Toulon on Tuesday.
France now operates several unarmed Reaper drones in the context of its mission to monitor jihadist groups in Africa’s Sahel region.
According to Parly, the drones will be used in the fight against armed terrorist groups in the regions where French soldiers are deployed.