Civilian Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS) – Threats an Opportunities
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.
Table of Contents
This article is split into five sections;
- Introduction; this page
- More than Toys although some of them are toys, many are not. Modern professional systems are used in agriculture, survey, civil engineering, telecommunications and other sectors where durability and capability are key requirements. As technology improves, those capabilities can be exploited in the defence sector.
- Threats and Examples of Use; recent examples of criminal and combat-related use of low-cost civilian UAS and a discussion of potential threats as the technology matures.
- Counters; in response to increasing use, the defence and security industry has responded with a wide variety of countermeasures.
- Opportunities; if others can exploit this technology, why not the reverse, a look at potential means by which UK forces can use a low-cost civilian system derived UAS
- Summary; a summary
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