The US will provide 12 unarmed Shadow drone aircraft to Pakistan to enhance the country’s air defence capabilities.

The decision to supply 12 RQ-7 Shadow aerial drones to Pakistan was announced by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates during his recent visit to the country.

The 3m-long, 14ft-wide RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are smaller than the armed Predator and Reaper aircraft.

The UAVs are equipped with sensors and cameras feeding video images back to operators on the ground and can be modified to be armed.