In an international context where drones of different types have started to proliferate widely, how can Norway and its allies counter the formidable threat posed by this emerging technology? In recent years, it has become clear that drones will figure in every conflict in the future. This could be in the form of large armed drones capable of employing a range of precision-guided missiles and bombs, or cheap commercial drones that carry communication systems and sensor suites that furnish even small state and non-state actors with airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Command and Control (C2) capabilities that would have been impossible to achieve by traditional means, not to mention the explosives-laden hobby drones deployed by groups like ISIS as rudimentary (but effective) miniature guided missiles. As such, the development of systems to counter the threat posed by these tools has emerged as one of the most pressing—and challenging—priorities for countries around the world, including Norway and its European and North American allies.
This project will explore the dynamics of current and future counter-drone systems development and use in the contexts that are most relevant for Norway—specifically, within NATO and the EU’s new Permanent Structured Cooperation (a framework in which Norway seeks to participate), and in connection with the European Research Fund and the European Defense Agency, which Norway already contributes to substantially. Through extensive original research drawing on interviews with leading experts in the industry and in the policy circles, this project will yield clear, actionable conclusions surrounding current and future C-UAS employment and policy within these contexts. Crucially, it will also point to avenues for Norway to leverage its participation in, and financial contributions to, international programs and frameworks in order to better address the C-UAS problem-set.
This project is led by PRIO and is developed in collaboration with the Center for the Study of the Drone, Bard College, US.
Photo: conservationdrones.org via Flickr