The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) has now developed anti-drone technology as a way to address the asymmetrical warfare — also using drones — engaged in by its enemies.
NATO scientists are building up a signature database consisting of small UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to help nations develop drone detection systems and tracking algorithms, it stated in an announcement on Thursday.
The group collected data on various models of mini and small drones in an urban environment at a training center in France as part of its campaign to limit the efficacy of these tools when used for nefarious purposes.
NATO Anti-drone technology needed for overall security
Drones can not only pose a security risks but cause major disruptions in civilian life as well, as was seen in an incident at Gatwick Airport in London in December of 2018, the NATO statement points out. The airport was shut down for no less than three days following reports of drone sightings close to the runway, resulting in the cancellations of hundreds of flights.
NATO’s research work in drone technology has been carried out by its Science and Technology Organization (STO).
Marc Châteauneuf, a defense scientist who works at Defence Research and Development Canada, speaks in the NATO video released along with the statement yesterday. “We often see on TV where there are prime ministers or other important persons speaking and you see a small drone flying around,” he notes. “You don’t know if it’s really a threat or if it’s someone just wanting to take a picture. But you always have to assume that it could be a threat.”
Some of the threats that we could be facing in such situations, he notes, is that a drone could be dropping an explosive or that the drone could have a surveillance system attached to it. “Having a drone detection system means we can detect the drones and solve the problem this way,” before any unfortunate incident can take place, he states.
Greece’s new drone, Archytas, takes off and lands vertically
A prototype of Greece’s first vertical take-off and landing drone, called “Archytas,” was unveiled by the nation’s authorities during a military exercise in the eastern Aegean in late September.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was presented to deputy minister of national defense Nikolaos Chardalias, during the final phase of the joint military exercise “Parmenion-21”, held on the island of Chios between September 24 and October 1.
Chardalias inspected the UAV on September 30. The new technological marvel is the product of a collaboration between the Greek companies EFA Group and Ucandrone PC with the research teams of the Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Aviation Industry, and the Universities of Thessaloniki, Thessaly, and Thrace.
Turkish drones now based on Cyprus
On August 26 of this year, it was noted that an air base in northern Cyprus was hosting drones from Turkey, causing tensions to rise throughout the region. Cyprus, politically divided after the Turkish invasion of 1974, has felt that the Turkish government is reproducing its “expansionist agenda” by stationing drones across the country.
Turkey has also deployed considerable manpower in the eastern Mediterranean in the recent past to search for energy reserves.
Turkey has kept an intimidating presence in the occupied part of Cyprus ever since its invasion of the island. But the drones now enable Turkey to have attack capabilities at a moment’s notice — a possibility that has ramped up anxiety in the area.
An Egyptian official called the drones one of “Ankara’s provocative measures.” Another Egyptian diplomat, speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, told reporters that “The base, along with other measures in Cyprus, Libya and the Mediterranean, would only further destabilize the region. It is alarming.”