The pace of change in the civilian unmanned airborne systems marketplace is staggering, and much like the mobile telephone, it will present both a number of threats and opportunities for defence and security forces.
Whilst the defence market for unmanned systems is well established, especially for larger systems, the real growth and innovation is in civilian markets.
Like many of the other Think Defence ‘long reads’, this is an accumulation of posts and ideas from across the years. The first posy on the subject was in 2011, covering the use of a civilian ‘drone’ by Libyan rebels to observe Gadhafi’s forces and direct their own artillery strikes.
Since then, operational use by forces in Ukraine and ISIS in Syria and Iraq has demonstrated just how they are being exploited in a defence context. Increasing concerns about their use near airports and nuclear power stations has also elevated concerns.
In response, a number of countermeasures have emerged, both conventional and unconventional.
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