8 Most Advanced Military Drones In 2023–2024

We now know how much car manufacturers rely on F1, constantly adopting technology from Formula 1 racing and slapping it into modern cars. The same happens with military technology and many other industries that use these technological advancements.

Drones are the most recent craze, and governments are investing billions of pounds to create crewless aerial vehicles that can go on intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance, or ISTAR missions for short. 

These military drones have massive benefits as they can save lives, so let’s dive straight into the best ones. 

Top 8 Military Drones in 2023-2024

Without further ado, below are the eight most advanced military drones in the world.

1. Taranis

Image source: BAE Systems

Although over a decade old, Taranis looks straight out of a futuristic film. BAE Systems, a British arms, security, and aerospace company, created the drone. They made only one to demonstrate the British UCAV program.

Using a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour engine, Taranis can create over 6,500 pounds of thrust and reach speeds of over 750 mph (or 1200+ kmph). It’s almost 11.5 m long and weighs around 8,000 kg, with a wingspan of 9.1 m.

2. MQ-9 Reaper

Developed specifically for the United States Air Force, General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper is a weapon of fear and destruction. Measuring 36 feet long and weighing more than 2,200, this beast of an uncrewed aircraft can reach speeds of 370+ kmph (around 230 mph).

Moreover, with a 600-gallon fuel tank, the MQ-9 Reaper can effortlessly fly over 1,100 miles in one trip. These stats make the MQ-9 Reaper an ideal offensive and defensive UAV, as military personnel can control it remotely or send it to go on solo missions autonomously.

3. Heron

Built by Israel Aerospace Industries, Heron is a perfect surveillance and target acquisition machine. The aerial vehicle is 8.5 meters long but only weighs 280 kg. However, it can effortlessly carry a 250 kg payload and reach speeds of 130 mph.

The Heron’s engine is the size of a car’s. It’s a four-cylinder, turbo-charged Rotax 914 with 115 horsepower, but it can carry this UAV for more than 40 hours or take it to heights of over 30,000 feet.

4. Bayraktar Kizilema

Image source: Baykar

With an English translation of “Red Apple,” you’d have no idea we’re talking about a powerful and scary UCAV. But this 8.5-ton monster powered by a single Ukrainian turbofan jet engine is frightening.

It was made by Baykar Defence, a Turkish defense and aerospace company, just a few years ago and took its first flight at the end of 2022. Baykar Defence made only two prototypes, demonstrating the company’s knowledge of crewless fighter jets with advanced maneuverability and stealthiness, as it was undetectable on the radar.

5. Barracuda

Created by a joint effort of Germany and Spain, Barracuda is a product of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, or EADS for short. The UAV uses a single Pratt and Whitney engine that makes 3,100 pounds of thrust and can push the Barracuda to speeds of almost 650 mph.

Weighing over 2,300 kg and being 8.25 m long, it’s hard to imagine the EADS Barracuda being capable of such flights, but it’s effortlessly capable of flying for 120 miles or 200 km at heights of over 6,000 meters.

6. XQ-58 Valkyrie

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions’ XQ-58 Valkyrie is a jet designed to support United States Air Force pilots as it flies alongside. However, the AI systems also make it capable of making autonomous decisions regarding flights and speeds.

The XQ-58 Valkyrie uses commercial components for its body and weighs just over 1,100 kg. However, because of an excellent turbofan engine that makes 2,000 pounds of thrust, Valkyrie can carry payloads of almost 550 kg at speeds of nearly 900 mph.

7. Aksungur

Image source: Daily Sabah

Developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for its Armed Forces department, the Aksungur is a mighty aircraft and a worthy successor to the TAI Anka series of drones. Thus, it’s a perfect weapon for intelligence, surveillance, and recon missions.

This aircraft has two turbo diesel engines, which create a combined output of 340 horsepower and can reach cruising speeds of 250 kmph (or 155 mph). That is doable even when the aircraft carries a payload of 750 kg.

8. MQ-28 Ghost Bat

Created by Australia’s Boeing division, an aircraft company you’ve undoubtedly heard of, the MQ-28 Ghost Bat is a force no one wants to mess with. It’s 38 feet long (or 11.7 meters) and can travel over 2,000 nautical miles at once. Its numerous integrated sensors make it perfect for ISTAR missions. 

The MQ-28 Ghost Bat uses artificial intelligence for its state-of-the-art flying system. Therefore, it can either go on missions alone or support another aircraft with pilots and act as a backup or an additional line of defense.


As they can save human lives, governments worldwide are shifting their military funds to the research and development of newer and better military drones. Such vehicles can fly autonomously or be remotely controlled, replacing human pilots in ISTAR missions.

Moreover, they allow top-of-the-line technology to trickle down into other sectors and various industries, providing technological advancements across the globe, which is why they’re an excellent investment for any country.

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