How Fast Military Drones Can Fly in Air?

Sarhan Basem
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) A military UAV’s average speed, whether a fixed-wing plane or a rotorcraft, is 413 kilometres per hour (256.6 miles per hour or Mach 0.3). These planes’ maximum speeds depend on several factors that we’ll go over below. Also discussed will be the various types of military UAVs, some examples of the fastest military UAVs and a comparison of the flight speeds of manned and unmanned military fixed-wing and rotorcraft.

Let’s find out how fast are military drones!

The fastest military drones were originally designed for use by the military in largely covert tasks before being made accessible to the general public. A drone can travel at speeds of more than 4,800 miles per hour. Lockheed Martin designed the F-35 Lightning II stealth aircraft, a firm specialising in military aerospace. The American maker flew a prototype reactor that will power its future self-driving gadget for the first time on April 5 at more than five times the speed of sound. The US Army has released a movie with the first computer-generated visuals of the SR-72 drone so that people may get a feel for what it looks like (see below).

After over a decade of research and development, the US Army still needs working prototypes of this gadget. The SR-72 is sometimes called “the son of the Blackbird.” Indeed, this futuristic drone will have to take the position of the SR-71 Blackbird, a Cold War-era espionage jet that remains the world’s fastest aeroplane today. There are photographs from when the SR-71 was at the height of its power and used extensively over the Soviet Union that show a tennis ball clearly. Even though it was visible on Soviet radars, all it had to do to avoid being hit by a missile or opposing fighter jets was speed up.

List of Fastest Military Drones

Drones have both military and civilian use. Military drones are the most powerful in terms of sheer power. In this article, we’ll look at the several roles that military drones play today. Designers of unmanned aircraft have the advantage of not having to worry as much about “G” effects, which may restrict the speed at which the aircraft can go. Below is a list of the top five fastest military drones;

1. Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems constructed this hypersonic aircraft. It can reach speeds of up to Mach 20. And it can fly for over an hour and cover a maximum distance of five thousand kilometres.

The second generation of the Falcon hypersonic technology vehicle is designed to travel at Mach 20 and beyond speeds. That’s in range of ballistic missiles, the fastest manmade object in Earth orbit.

2. Lockheed SR-72

Regarding military drones, the Lockheed SR-72 is among the quickest ever built. A stealthy aircraft designed for surveillance missions. During the flight, it may reach up to 1,350 miles per hour. It can exceed the speed of any other flying machine by at least two times. Although unmanned and hence a drone, this plane may be compared to the SR-71’s sibling, the SR-72. The SR-72 is expected to reach Mach 6, which is almost twice as fast as the SR-71.

3. Lockheed Martin SR-72 Blackbird

It can reach up to 7,500 miles per hour in its design. At the very least, it’s three times quicker than the speed of sound. The F-16 is a popular choice because of its versatility as a fighter and bomber, and is in service with several countries. But why is it classified as a drone?

Boeing replaced the F-16 with an unmanned version of the plane after it was retired from service with the United States Air Force.

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4. Boeing V-22 Osprey

Boeing’s V-22 Ospreys are specialised tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell Helicopter V-280 Valet served as inspiration for their design. They have a top speed of 200 mph and can transport 12 soldiers with all their gear. Since they can hover, they can also land vertically.

5. B.A.E. Systems Taranis

The B.A.E. Systems Taranis is the next fastest military drone on our list. For the British military, B.A.E. Systems has developed the stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle Taranis as part of its Future Combat Air System initiative.

Furthermore, it will accompany human aircraft on the following missions. The Taranis can fly across the ocean if necessary and are designed to handle a wide range of operational tasks.

6. Northrop Grumman X-47B

The RQ-170 Sentinel, created by Northrop Grumman, is a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV. In addition, this UAV can stay in the air for up to 30 hours straight, making it ideal for long-term surveillance missions. Given its origins as a UCAV for the US Navy, the X-47 B is optimised for usage from aircraft carriers. Aimed for both attack and aerial refuelling missions, this aircraft is being examined for both roles.


Although drones have a wide range of applications, both in the military and civilian life, the ones used by the military are the ones with the highest raw strength. This article has focused on how fast are military drones and what are some of the fastest military drones in the US.

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Brussels Morning is a daily online newspaper based in Belgium. BM publishes unique and independent coverage on international and European affairs. With a Europe-wide perspective, BM covers policies and politics of the EU, significant Member State developments, and looks at the international agenda with a European perspective.
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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.