By amk, 03/07/2022
The Senate alerts the State for the need to prepare for the "drone war"
"The Air Force will increasingly become an army of drone pilots," said General Lecointre, chief of staff of the armies [CEMA], during a hearing in the National Assembly in2019. A few days before his departure from the function of CEMA, this message seems to have been heard strong and clear.
France must imperatively expand its drone fleet and have protective capacities in the face of this growing threat which weighs both on the national territory and on the battlefield, alerts a parliamentary report which AFP has obtained a copy.
Entitled "Preparing for the drone war: a strategic issue", this report by the Senate Defense Commission, which must be presented on Wednesday, notes that "since 2019, a capacity catch -up is underway: the armed forces will haveSeveral thousand drones by 2025, against only a few tens four years ago. "
In 2020, 58% of the strikes in Sahelo-Saharan band were provided by Reaper drones, armed since the end of 2019. The Eurodrone program, which aims to replace the Reaper from 2028, is "finally on rails" after aLong period of negotiations with German, Spanish and Italian partners.
On the other hand, France has accelerated the acquisition of small drones, called contact, welcomes the report by recalling that 210 nanodrones drop and 67 microdrones NX 70 have been delivered since 2019, and that 150 Anafi microdrones of Parrot intended for the threeArmies have just been ordered, with a target of 900 in 2025.
The stakes are high, given the growing importance of drones on the battlefield."Several recent conflicts, not only the war in Haut-Karabagh in 2020 but also the fighting in Libya in September 2019 and the Turkish campaign in northern Syria in March 2020 were marked by the massive use of tactical drones andSmall drones ", according to new operating procedures (artillery fire guidance, lesing, flights to swarms, suicide attacks)" to penetrate the opposing soil-to-air defenses "and which" prefigure the conflicts of tomorrow, where drones will be omnipresent"Note the report.
The antidron control a priority
Like Israel and China, Turkey and Iran have embarked on large -scale production and the export of these "cheap" drones, recall its authors.According to the report, it is therefore necessary to consider "acquiring a similar capacity of inexpensive and 'sacrifiable'" "simple microdrons intended to serve as lures or to carry out saturating, armed microdron attacks (which would not be autonomous weapons) and drones of attack a little bigger, capable of carrying teleoperated ammunition.
Finally, it is necessary to make the fight antidron a priority, including on the national territory where the number of drones, mostly civilian, has increased from 400,000 in 2017 to 2.5 million today.
The first capacities were acquired in an emergency after the overview in 2014 of sensitive sites by drones, in particular nuclear power plants.You have to be able to detect the threat and then neutralize it, whether it is lure, muddle or destroy the drone, depending on whether you are in clear ground or not.
For military use, lasers, like the Helma-P of Cilas Society, can constitute a "promising solution", believe the senators, even if "there is no completely suitable and satisfactory solution" to all situations.
The Ministry of Armed Forces launched a market, called Parade, to develop antidron protection for military sites.He plans to devote 350 million euros over 11 years, but only 70 million by 2025, are worried about elected officials.