The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy institution based in Washington DC, focused on strengthening the transatlantic alliance through cutting-edge research, analysis, and programs, recently published an article titled, An Urgent Matter of Drones by Federico Borsari and Gordon B. “Skip” Davis, Jr.
Executive Summary of the Article
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have become pivotal in modern warfare and are expected to play an even larger role. This underscores the pressing need for NATO and its member nations to adapt to this evolving landscape promptly. While individual NATO allies possess diverse UAS capabilities, the alliance collectively operates NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS). However, despite NATO’s efforts to encourage procurement, capability development, and the adoption of common standards, the alliance currently lacks a sufficient number of drones to effectively engage in high-intensity conflicts against peer adversaries, making integrating existing assets in contested environments a considerable challenge. These challenges include limited interoperability, critical capability gaps, platform vulnerability, personnel and training deficiencies, constraints in intelligence processing, and more.
- First, the alliance must clearly assess UAS and counter UAS (C-UAS) capability requirements based on lessons learned from recent conflicts, technological developments underway, and expected future threats and challenges.
- Second, UAS and C-UAS capability development and policy development must be guided by the need for scale and interoperability and the imperatives of multidomain operations.
- Third, enabling capabilities such as AI tools, data architecture, communications networks, and cyber and space capabilities and services must be enhanced.
- Fourth, NATO and individual allies should leverage the significant innovation efforts underway while improving operational experimentation and procurement processes.
- Fifth, NATO should refine or establish joint allied doctrine, operational concepts, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) to cover new and expanded roles of UAS and the growing importance of C-UAS.
- Sixth, both UAS and C-UAS capability integration into NATO and national forces will require a special focus on human resource development.
Please visit An Urgent Matter of Drones for the entire informative article published on the CEPA website.
Post Image Credit: envatoelements by photocreo)