French counterterrorist campaigns have highlighted the growing relevance of using drones on military theater of operations. Addressing French troops deployed in Niger where they operate two (soon three) US-made Reaper drones, defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said his country will order General Atomics three additional drones in 2015. France is currently engaged in multiple fronts against Islamic extremist terrorism mainly in North Africa’s Sahel. Unconfirmed information said these new acquisitions – with possibly reduced delivery dates – would be used as part of another French military intervention in Libya.
Same sources said this could take place as early as within 3 to 6 months in cooperation with African neighboring countries that have expressed their utmost concern about the consequences of a complete disintegration of Libya in case nothing was done to halt the ongoing wave of extremist violence. President François Hollande has denied such allegations. Implications for business, first, military developments in Libya will impact the oil market; second, it will confirm the booming prospects of the military drones’ industry merely made of a dozen companies, mainly from the US and Israel.