Mexico’s Navy announced plans to deploy unmanned planes in support of government operations against drug cartels, starting March 2012.

The drones will transmit real-time video and images, which Mexico’s security forces will use to identify locations being used by drug cartels to stash weapons and drugs, hold kidnapping victims or carry out other criminal activities. They will have the capacity to fly for up to two hours, reports Excelsior.

The drones, which were designed by scientists working for Mexico’s armed forces, are currently in a test phase. They are light, can be easily transported and operated remotely using a mobile communications tower.

The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can fly at low speeds, gathering intelligence on criminals during reconnaissance missions that will then be used to inform the actions of security personnel, without risking the lives of pilots.

The U.S.’s deployment of drones in Mexican airspace sparked controversy earlier this year, with some saying they had been used since 2009.


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