France to arm military surveillance drones

AP , Tuesday 5 Sep 2017

France's defense minister says that the French military will arm drones that are currently used for surveillance and intelligence only.

Florence Parly said Tuesday in a speech in the southeastern city of Toulon that "armed drones will have endurance, discretion, surveillance and strike capability at the right place and the right moment."

Parly said the decision at first would only concern the Reaper drones France bought from the U.S. She didn't specify a timeframe for when they would be armed or what kind of weapons would be deployed.

Parly said the drones wouldn't become "killer robots," stressing that strikes would be governed by strict national and international rules relating to the use of force.

France has six unarmed Reaper surveillance drones, with most of them based in Africa's Sahel region

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