A few recent articles on military drones: New US variations in use, shootdown of military drones in combat zones, anti-drone technology, and increasing exports of Chinese drones.
My observation: the military drone arms race is on.
7/2/17 – UPI – New Reaper drone variant performs first combat mission – The first in a new series of MQ-9 Reaper drones flew its first combat mission. Referred to as the Block 5, the drone dropped a precision bomb (GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions) and fired two missiles (AM-114 Hellfire).
Oddly, the article says targets were ISIS positions but does not identify the country where the strike took place.
6/8/17 – Wall Street Journal – American Pilot Shoots Down Armed Drone in Syria – A drone, described as Predator-style, was shot down by a U.S. pilot after the drone fired on a patrol by forces the US supports.