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The Drone Race in Central Asia

All five Central Asian militaries have drones, and four of the countries produce military drones domestically. Drones were first used in anger in Central Asia during Kyrgyz-Tajik border clashes in September 2022, when Kyrgyzstan’s drones were used to attack positions in Tajikistan.

Drone acquisition is a point of pride — and of media coverage — throughout the region. Who is supplying drones to Central Asia or helping Central Asian governments produce their own? Why do the Central Asian states even need drones?

Joining host Bruce Pannier to discuss this topic are guests Derek Bisaccio, Forecast International’s lead analyst for International Defense Markets, specializing in the defense trade in the Eurasia and Middle East regions, and Francisco Olmos, senior researcher in Central Asian affairs at Spain’s GEOPOL 21 Center, and also a research fellow at the London-based Foreign Policy Centre.

Source: Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty