UAV Proliferation

Aeryon Scout UAS UAV

Our future ground-based anti-air capabilities seem to be coalescing around CAMM and Lightweight Starstreak but have a look at this video.

The caption reads

While NATO countries fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) high above Libya, none of these UAVs, or the vital intelligence they provide, was available to the Libyans fighting to free their country — they were fighting blind. So, they got one of their own. The Libyan rebels have been using the Aeryon Scout Micro UAV to acquire intelligence on enemy positions and to coordinate their resistance efforts. This video gives sample photos and video from both the Scout’s daylight and thermal payloads.

With this kind of unmanned system, relatively unsophisticated in comparison to a Reaper of course, defence economics come into play.

Systems like these, costing less than £10,000 can be easily obtained on the open market in significant quantities, operated without extensive training or worrying about airspace management, carry day and night sensors and generally provide enemy forces with a big asymmetric advantage.

It doesn’t take an overactive imagination to see how they could be easily weaponised either.

If all we can counter them with is hundreds of thousand-pound missiles do we have an operational and economic problem?

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