The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in illicit activities, including narcotics operations, has become a concern in Colombia. Various armed groups and illicit actors have used drones to support their illegal activities. The Colombian Ministry of Defense has strongly condemned these actions, considering them a violation of national sovereignty. They have recognized the need to counter the threat posed by UAVs, particularly those flying over government institutions, including the headquarters of the Colombian Armed Forces. Measures are being prioritized to address this issue and protect critical areas from unauthorized drone activities.

In response to the security challenges posed by using drones in illicit activities, the Colombian Ministry of Defense is considering allocating USD 2 million to procure Counter-Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS). These systems are intended to have advanced features such as time and location detection, tracking capabilities, blocking video recording, and restricting access to restricted areas. The Ministry has outlined specific requirements for the C-sUAS procurement, including:

  • Capability to detect nearby drones, including custom-built or homemade drones
  • Non-kinetic mitigation capability
  • Water-resistant (IP rating requirement is not noted)
  • Encrypted system interoperable with local laptops and tablets

Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority recognizes the need to safeguard the country’s airspace. It is actively considering the acquisition of Counter-Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS) with an estimated budget of USD 1 to 2 million. The primary aim is to ensure public and private airspace security in Colombia. By procuring C-sUAS, the authority intends to establish effective control and maintain order, thereby preventing unauthorized drone intrusions. This initiative reflects the commitment of the Civil Aviation Authority to enhance airspace protection and mitigate potential risks associated with the misuse of drones.

The U.S. Commercial Service encourages U.S. manufacturers with this technology to contact the Defense and Security Sector Lead Lina Contreras to pursue C-sUAS opportunities in Colombia.

Post Image-Landscape View of Bogota, Colombia. (Image Credit: envatoelements by MyLove4Art)