According tro rhe CDA Institute, the variety of UAVs has grown by leaps and bounds, but in the broadest sense, their primary capabilities have changed little. Perhaps the greatest strength of many UAVs is their ability to operate at medium to high altitudes for extended periods of time. This makes them ideally suited for gathering intelligence on specific targets or remote geographical regions, whether in a domestic setting or in a theatre of war. Beyond intelligence and surveillance missions, armed drones are capable of striking at specific targets which would otherwise be difficult for conventional land or air forces to engage. Although there is still a contentious moral and legal debate surrounding the lethal use of drones, their ability to carry out surgical strikes often saves lives in the form of reduced collateral casualties, both amongst civilians and combatants.
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