With the significant rise in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the United States government, a great deal of interest has been generated across the country in drones. These high-tech aircraft come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and characteristics, and are controlled either autonomously by computers or remote control by a pilot on the ground. To deal with the demand for high quality photos of UAVs, Stocktrek Images has put together a royalty-free collection that is now accessible for online licensing. Individuals with an interest in unmanned aerial systems are invited to browse the collection.

The rapid advancement of remote technologies has enabled the United States and its allies to deploy drones on battlefields throughout the world. This has been especially evident in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, where the United States has utilized armed unmanned aerial systems to destroy terrorist resources and personnel in dangerous situations. The role of the armed drone has moved to traditional battlefield scenarios such as electronic attacks, general strike missions, and the destruction of enemy air defenses.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Stock Photo
An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flightline at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

In addition to the use of combat enabled drones, the majority are actually being used in intelligence gathering operations, including both surveillance and reconnaissance missions. These surveillance missions are flown to help protect allied troops as well as pinpoint targets for future missions.

The two most common aerial drones that the public is aware of are the MQ-1 Predator, often armed with Hellfire missiles, and the MQ-9 Reaper. These drones can easily be sent into combat situations while keeping US personnel safely behind the enemy lines.