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09 Aug 18. Ecuadorian MND outlines acquisition plans. The Ecuadorian Ministry of National Defense (MND) outlined its strategy to strengthen the country’s armed forces on 2 August, with its goals including the acquisition of new platforms and the repair and modernisation of existing ones. The objective for the army is to acquire light multipurpose helicopters and riverine vessels to patrol Ecuador’s jungle territory, while the navy’s two submarines, Shyri (SS 101) and Huancavilca (SS 102), as well as corvettes Manabí (CM 12) and Loja (CM 16), will be upgraded. The air force, meanwhile, plans to acquire six helicopters for search-and-rescue operations and will also repair and modernise its Atlas Cheetah fighters and Airbus C295 transport aircraft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Aug 18. Pakistani military personnel to receive training in Russia. Islamabad has signed an agreement with Moscow that will allow Pakistani military personnel to be trained in Russia in a move designed to strengthen bilateral defence ties, according to Pakistani and Indian media reports.
“Both countries signed the Contract on Admission of Service Members of Pakistan in RF’s [Russian Federation’s] Training Institutes,” Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported, quoting the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Islamabad.
The Press Trust of India news agency pointed out that the agreement was signed on 7 August at the conclusion of the first meeting of the Russian-Pakistani Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC) in Islamabad, during which Russian Deputy Defence Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin and Pakistani Defence Secretary Zamir ul Hassan Shah headed their respective delegations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Aug 18. U.S., Allies Aim to Maintain Free, Open Indo-Pacific Region. The current international order has been a boon for the nations of Southeast Asia, and the United States is working to ensure the nations of the region and world continue to enjoy the benefits of that order, the assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs said yesterday. Randall D. Schriver told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute here that the Defense Department has a key role to play in preserving the international order, but that DoD is only one part of a whole-of-government approach. The whole-of-government approach, with security, economic and governance pillars, is the way forward for the United States and the region, he said. Southeast Asia is the heart of the Indo-Pacific region and thus, is an important part of the total Indo-Pacific strategy.
There is an unfolding competition in the region between China and nations committed to the current international order, Schriver said.
“Our strategy is an affirmative, positive one and it is inclusive,” he said. “While it is not aimed at any particular country, there should be little doubt that much of the Chinese behavior is demonstrating objectives that run counter to our objectives for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The United States wants a positive relationship with China, the assistant secretary said. However, he added, China’s leaders “need to understand that while we seek cooperation where our interests align, we will compete where we must.”
Schriver said nations of the region say they do not want to choose between the United States and China. But Chinese activities — such as aggressive economic statecraft and illegally militarizing the South China Sea — are forcing nations to contemplate the situation, he said.
The choice for nations “is really between partnership or domination, independence and self-reliance or a mortgaged future, full sovereignty or coercion, international law norms or irredentist claims and control,” he said.
International Rules-Based Order
Schriver said the international rules-based order is aimed at maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region. “By free, we mean nations will be free from coercion and able to protect their sovereignty,” he explained. Open refers to nations enjoying freedom of the seas and airways, Schriver said. Southeast Asia is a growing trading partner of the United States, and the Philippines and Thailand are American treaty allies. Sea lanes through the region carry the life’s blood of world prosperity and must remain open.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis realizes the importance of the area and has made seven trips to the Indo-Pacific region since taking office. Four of those trips included Southeast Asia.
“Our routine presence in the Indo-Pacific is a vital source of regional stability and serves as an important demonstration of our commitment to the region,” Schriver said. “Freedom of navigation [exercises] … are the most visible part of that, but we are engaged in activities, exercises and operations across the region every day. The U.S. military is active on a daily basis to safeguard freedom of navigation and overflight in the Indo-Pacific demonstrating our commitment to fly, sale and operate wherever international law allows.”
Countries are concerned about the challenge to the status quo and they are joining the United States to assert these basic right, he said. The U.S. military is helping nations of the region build their defense capabilities and capacity, Shriver said, and the U.S. is working with individual countries and groups such as the Association of South East Asian Nations to increase intelligence sharing and exchanges of information. (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
08 Aug 18. Russian military drills ‘threaten war with Georgia.’ Russian troops are said to have carried out exercises in Georgia’s Kremlin-backed breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Georgia has accused Russia of boosting its military presence on its soil after Moscow warned that its neighbour’s path to Nato membership threatened to create a “terrible conflict”. Tbilisi said that troops were carrying out drills in the Kremlin-backed breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and that Russia had “further reinforced its illegal military presence”.
“This is a war against Georgia, an aggression, an occupation, and a blatant violation of international law,” President Margvelashvili told a government meeting. “The aggressor’s appetite has only increased after the invasion.”
The bitter exchange, on the tenth anniversary of the five-day war between the two countries, underlined Georgia’s sense of vulnerability and Russia’s hostility to the prospect of Nato enlargement up to its borders. Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary-general, said last month that members had agreed to admit Georgia, needling the Kremlin four years after it reacted badly to Nato’s deepening ties with Ukraine. Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, warned on Monday that Nato’s intention to admit Georgia could renew hostilities. Yesterday marked a decade since the beginning of the war, when Russian troops invaded after a Georgian advance into the pro-Moscow South Ossetia region.
Mr Medvedev, who was Russia’s president at the time, said that Nato’s commitment to eventually bringing Georgia into its ranks was “an absolutely irresponsible position and a threat to peace. Everyone knows about the internal tensions in Georgia, which believes that the neighbouring territories, which we regard as independent countries, still belong to it,” he said.
Speaking to the Kommersant newspaper, he added: “It is an unsettled territorial conflict, whatever anyone’s positions. Can you imagine what would happen if Georgia were to join a military bloc? This could provoke a terrible conflict.”
The remarks prompted Georgia’s allies to affirm their backing for the South Caucasus state. “The EU is unwavering in our support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts,” said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.
Sir Alan Duncan, the foreign office minister, said that Britain was resolutely supporting Georgian sovereignty, adding that it was, “a tragedy that Georgia is still divided”. The German foreign ministry called Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia unacceptable.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both at Russia’s southern border, seceded from Georgia in the early 1990s and have been de facto independent ever since. After the 2008 war Moscow recognised their independence, providing financial support and boosting its military garrisons in both areas, which infuriated Tbilisi. Unresolved ethnic or territorial conflicts inside a state preclude accession to Nato but Mr Stoltenberg said at the alliance’s meeting in Brussels last month that its countries had agreed that Georgia would become a member. Georgia complains that Russian-backed forces are using a tactic called borderisation to gradually expand the territory of the breakaway regions into the rest of the country. The European Union Monitoring Mission, which observes the new boundary, says the border has been “hardening” in recent years, confirming the land grab. Georgia’s foreign ministry said that “continuous fortification of the occupation line through installation of barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers as well as constant kidnappings and illegal detentions by Russia FSB (domestic intelligence agency) personnel further destabilise the security environment on the ground”.
Despite verbal support for Georgia, some western diplomats express disquiet in private at the prospect of it joining Nato. They believe the alliance would be unable to protect it in the event of a conflict with Russia. Nato’s founding treaty obliges members to see an attack against one ally as an attack against all. Nato has not set out a timetable for the accession of Georgia, a country of 3.7 million people. The country had hoped that it would join by 2021 although this is unlikely. (Source: The Times)
07 Aug 18. Israel sees Syrian army growing beyond pre-civil war size. Israel’s defence minister said on Tuesday that Syria was building up its ground forces beyond their pre-civil war size, an assessment that suggests President Bashar al-Assad’s army has recovered from a critical manpower shortage earlier in the war. The Syrian military was hit by major defections in the first years of the conflict, which began in 2011, and by 2015 Assad acknowledged that “a shortfall in human capacity” meant the army could not fight everywhere for fear of losing vital ground.
Russia intervened militarily soon afterwards to turn the tide of war and has been helping arm and train the Syrian army. Iran has also backed Assad, sending military advisers and allied Shi’ite militia from across the region to support his troops. Pro-government forces in the Syrian conflict have also included local militias raised by the Lebanese Hezbollah with Iranian support, including the National Defence Forces.
“Across the way we see the Syrian military, which is not satisfied with just taking over all of Syrian territory but is expressly building a broad-based, new ground army that will return to its previous proportions and beyond,” Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters during a tour of the Golan Heights.
Israel closely monitors the military capacity of Syria, an adversary against which it has fought three wars. It captured part of the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and has occupied it since. With Assad now regaining control, Israel has voiced worry that he might defy a 44-year-old Golan demilitarisation deal that had stabilised their standoff. In a Twitter statement, Lieberman said that Israel’s tanks, deployed on parts of the strategic plateau that it captured from Syria in a 1967 war, were “our crushing strike force and will know how to defend the border in any eventuality”. In a May interview, Assad also said Syria had improved its air defences with Russian help. The Golan saw large tank battles in 1967 and the subsequent Israel-Syria war in 1973. Israel annexed its side of the Golan in 1981, in a move not recognised internationally. In a July 19 briefing, the chief of Israel’s armoured corps told reporters that while the number of Israeli tanks fielded was unlikely to grow, a new, improved tank model would be introduced in 2021. (Source: Reuters)
07 Aug 18. Mattis Says Taliban Under Increasing Pressure to Reconcile. The South Asia Strategy — now almost a year old — is working, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon today. The secretary spoke before welcoming British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson to the Pentagon for discussions. The strategy looks at coalition efforts in Afghanistan in a regional way, because many of the threats in the area are transnational. The strategy also called on the United States to realign its forces in Afghanistan to support the train, advise and assist mission with Afghan security forces and to accompany them on selected operations. But the reconciliation portion of the strategy is the most important pillar, Mattis told reporters, noting that through history, these conflicts and situations are solved via reconciliation. He cited the experiences in Northern Ireland and South Africa as examples.
Afghans Lead Reconciliation Effort
“The reconciliation effort [is] Afghan-owned, Afghan-led,” the defense secretary said. “We are working very closely with them in everything we are doing alongside our NATO allies, as we engage to try to end this war.”
The strategy has confronted the Taliban with a dilemma, and the group was forced to go along with the recent cease-fire that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani declared. The people of Afghanistan came together on that event, and the airwaves were filled with videos of government members and Taliban celebrating together. The pressure is increasing on the Taliban to enter discussions, but there is still a long way to go, Mattis said. “It is still early in this reconciliation process,” he added. (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
07 Aug 18. India releases draft Defence Production Policy. The Indian Government has released a draft Defence Production Policy that is focused on promoting domestic development of defence design and production capabilities. The draft policy comes after the government made a proposal in this year’s budget to create an industry-friendly policy framework that encourages public sector, private sector and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to produce defence equipment and technologies in the country. It is now in public domain and the government has asked all relevant stakeholders to present their views. Some of the key features listed in the draft policy include creation of a robust and competitive defence and aerospace industry as part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative that stresses on domestic manufacturing. The policy envisions the creation of a tiered defence industrial ecosystem in the country. The government also intends to reduce dependence on imports and make India a self-reliant developer and manufacturer of weapon systems. Furthermore, the policy outlines measures such as Transfer of Technology or enhanced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for domestic production to offset lack of manufacturing capabilities in the country. As per the policy, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is mandated to focus on system integration, design and development. OFB has also been handed the assignment of actively involving domestic vendors in the private sector for other assembly work. In a meeting with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) representatives last month, Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was requested to resolve the issue of delays in the issuance of licences needed to start defence production, The Economic Times reported. According to the news agency, the defence ministry is working on removing bureaucratic delays in key acquisitions, including ‘Make in India’ projects. The government is also considering a mechanism that allows automatic approval of licences if the home ministry fails to provide security clearance within a ‘reasonable’ time. (Source: army-technology.com)
06 Aug 18. Drone Attack Targets Venezuelan President. A drone attack caused pandemonium at a military ceremony where President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela was speaking on Saturday, sending National Guard troops scurrying in what administration officials called an assassination attempt. The president, who was unharmed, later told the nation, “To all of our friends in the world, I am fine, I am alive.” He blamed right-wing elements and said, “The Bolivarian revolution keeps its path.”
Mr Maduro has blamed Colombia for the attack – something denied by Bogota as a “baseless” accusation. Seven soldiers were injured, and authorities detained six people suspected of using explosives-laden drones in a failed bid to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, officials said Sunday, in what one witness described as a terrifying attack that shook her apartment building. The government alleged that opposition factions conspired with assailants in Miami and Bogota, although they offered no specific evidence. Opposition leaders decried Maduro for broadly singling out his political opponents, and they warned he may use it to further suppress his critics. The assailants flew two drones each packed with 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of C-4 plastic explosive toward Maduro, his wife and other top leaders as he spoke Saturday evening at an event celebrating the 81st anniversary of the National Guard, said Interior Minister Nestor Reverol. One of the drones was to explode above the president while the other was to detonate directly in front of him, he added. But the military managed to knock one of the drones off-course electronically and the other crashed into apartment building two blocks away from where Maduro was speaking to the hundreds of troops, Reverol said.
“We have six terrorists and assassins detained,” Reverol said. “In the next hours there could be more arrests.”
Of those arrested, Reverol said two had previous run-ins with the government, although he did not give their names or say what charges they faced. One took part in 2014 protests that rocked the nation as it descended into an economic crisis that is now worse than the Great Depression. The other had a warrant out for his arrest for participating in an attack on a military barracks. Investigators continued searching a blackened apartment building near the site while also seizing vehicles and raiding more than one hotel where they said they had found “film evidence.” Two witnesses who live in nearby apartment buildings said they saw a drone hovering over a residential street Saturday evening and then heard an explosion. One witness showed The Associated Press cellphone video of a drone crashing into a building. He said the drone fell to the ground and exploded, igniting a fire in an apartment. Another witness, Mairum Gonzalez, described running in panic to her fifth-floor balcony, where she heard the second explosion and saw smoke rising.
“It was so strong the building shook,” she said. “It terrified me.”
What is known about the alleged attack?
The incident happened when Mr Maduro was speaking at an event to mark the 81st anniversary of the national army. Two drones loaded with explosives went off near the president’s stand, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said. Mr Maduro later said in a national address: “A flying object exploded near me, a big explosion. Seconds later there was a second explosion.” Photos on social media showed bodyguards protecting Mr Maduro with bulletproof shields after the alleged attack. Mr Maduro accused neighbouring Colombia and elements within the US of instigating “a right-wing plot” to kill him.
He added that he had “no doubt” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was “behind this attack”.
The Venezuelan leader, who has previously accused the US of plotting against him, provided no evidence to back his claim. The Colombian government has denied any involvement, saying there is “no basis” to Mr Maduro’s allegations. By contrast, Mr Rodriguez accused Venezuela’s right-wing opposition of carrying out the attack.
“After losing the vote, they failed again,” Mr Rodriguez said.
He was referring to May’s presidential elections, where Mr Maduro was re-elected for another six-year term. However, Hasler Inglesias, a youth leader with the opposition Voluntad Popular Party, told the BBC: “We didn’t know what was happening. It’s hard to believe that the opposition is going to make an attempt when they have never made an attempt in this way in 20 years.” Meanwhile, a little-known group called Soldiers in T-shirts said on social media that it was behind the alleged attack. It said it had planned to fly two explosives-laden drones at Mr Maduro, but they were shot down by the military. The claim was not backed up by any evidence, and the group did not respond to media requests for comment. To add further to the confusion, firefighters at the scene disputed the government’s version of events, the Associated Press reports. Speaking on condition of anonymity, three of them said the incident was actually a gas tank explosion inside an apartment, but did not provide further details, the news agency says. (Source: UAS VISION/NY Times; BBC)
06 Aug 18. China tests hypersonic aircraft that can ‘break any missile defense system.’ China has successfully tested its first waverider hypersonic flight vehicle, a weapon that can carry nuclear warheads and break through any current generation anti-missile defense system due to its high speed and unpredictable trajectory, Chinese experts said on Sunday. Designed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the Xingkong-2, or Starry Sky-2, was launched in a target range located in Northwest China on Friday, the academy said in a statement released on its WeChat account on Friday. Launched in a rocket, the waverider was released in the air after about 10 minutes. It flew independently, made large-angle turning maneuvers, and landed in the targeted area as planned. The flight vehicle reached 30 kilometers in altitude at Mach 5.5-6, the academy said. Waverider is a flight vehicle that flies in the atmosphere and uses shockwaves generated by its own hypersonic flight with the air to glide at high speed, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday. Various parameters were proved and the flight vehicle was fully recovered, which marks the successful launch of Xingkong-2 and the first flight of a Chinese waverider, according to the statement.
“Announcing the successful test to the public indicates that China must have already made a technological breakthrough with the weapon,” Song said.
The waverider is expected to be tested more frequently in future before being handed over for deployment to the People’s Liberation Army, he said. The current generation of anti-missile defense systems is mainly designed to intercept cruise and ballistic missiles, which are either slower or easier to predict, making them possible to intercept. But the trajectory of a waverider is relatively unpredictable in the glide and it flies so fast that it poses an extreme challenge to current anti-missile defense systems, Song noted. Any rocket has the potential of launching a waverider, and the waverider can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, Song said. Given different targets, the waverider can use different setups to be either a tactical or a strategic weapon, he noted.
“The test showed that China is advancing shoulder to shoulder with the US and Russia,” Song said.
In addition to its military use, the hypersonic flight vehicle may also see civil use in the future, a military expert, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times on Sunday.
“If the hypersonic technology matures, it may see other applications including industrial transport,” the expert said.
The research is a strategic investment by China, from which many possibilities may derive, according to the expert. (Source: News Now/http://www.globaltimes.cn)
05 Aug 18. China’s New Aircraft Carriers Have a Big Weakness. According to the SCMP, there have been at least four J-15 crashes that has resulted in at least one fatality and one case of serious injury due to what has been described as a series of “unpardonable mechanical failures.” At the end of the day, the Chinese reverse engineered the J-15 design from an incomplete prototype of the Sukhoi Su-33 that it acquired from Ukraine. While Chinese engineers might have gained considerable insight into the Flanker design from the T-10K-3 and other Su-27 derivatives in Beijing’s possession, because they did not develop the jet or its systems, they do not fully understand the airframe due to some of the traditional limitations inherent to reverse engineering. These gaps in knowledge probably led to the some of the problems the Chinese are now encountering with the J-15 design. China is developing a new carrier-based fighter aircraft to succeed the Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark. The J-15—which is an unlicensed Chinese development based on a T-10K-3 prototype of the Russian Su-33 Flanker-D—has proven to be a disappointment in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The navalized Chinese Flanker derivative has suffered a number of high-profile crashes due to technical issues with the aircraft’s engines and flight control system. The J-15’s problems are apparently serious enough that Beijing is embarking on the development of a new carrier-based aircraft that would take the J-15’s place in China’s nascent carrier air wings. A “new carrier-based fighter to replace the J-15” is being developed, Lt. Gen. Zhang Honghe, deputy head of the PLA Air Force, told the South China Morning Post. It is unclear what the J-15’s successor will look like, but whatever aircraft Beijing develops will have to be able to operate from the ski-jump configured flight decks of theType 001 and Type 001A carriers —which are developments of the Soviet Kuznetsov-class —as well as the forthcoming Type 002, which is reportedly going to be outfitted with electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS). Chinese naval analysts have suggested that Beijing might develop a naval variant of the FC-31 Gyrfalcon, which is a “privately-funded” development of the state-owned Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. However, there is no official confirmation from Beijing on what a J-15 replacement might look like. The impetus for doing away with the J-15 stems from a series of four serious accidents suffered by the type. According to the SCMP, there have been at least four J-15 crashes that has resulted in at least one fatality and one case of serious injury due to what has been described as a series of “unpardonable mechanical failures.”
The technical problems seem to be traceable to the J-15’s indigenously developed engines and flight control system. “The J-15 is a problematic aircraft – its unstable flight control system was the key factor behind the two fatal accidents two years ago,” a source told the SCMP.
Indeed, during two of the incidents which resulted in J-15 crashes, the SCMP said the “flight control system was breaking down” on approach to the runway during Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLP). That might suggest the J-15’s flight control laws are vulnerable to pilot induced oscillations or any number of other problems. Additionally, it is not clear how reliable the J-15’s indigenous Shenyang Liming WS-10H engines are and if they played a factor in these crashes. Older versions of the J-15 were powered by the Russian Salyut AL-31F engines, which are more or less reliable. The Chinese apparently were well aware of problems with the J-15 but pressed ahead with deploying the jet operationally regardless of the risk, which highlights a culture that is markedly different from the U.S. Navy. Indeed, while the U.S. Navy will fly an aircraft with restrictions for problems that have emerged once a type has entered service, the Pentagon would not normally declare an aircraft operational if it is known to have serious safety issues. Recommended: How an ‘Old’ F-15 Might Kill Russia’s New Stealth Fighter
“Of course it’s impossible to prevent any accident from ever happening during training,” a PLAN veteran told the SCMP. “But unlike their counterparts in Western countries, Chinese air force pilots are asked to work around these mechanical errors.”
The PLAN also seems to have been in a state of denial about the extent of the J-15’s problems even after at least one naval aviator was killed in a crash (though that is often a problem with military services around the world).
“Aviation experts at first refused to acknowledge that the J-15 has design problems,” a source told the SCMP. “They only agreed there were problems after Cao [Xianjian, a highly experienced naval aviator] encountered the same trouble.”
That the J-15 has serious design flaws should come as no surprise. At the end of the day, the Chinese reverse engineered the J-15 design from an incomplete prototype of the Sukhoi Su-33 that it acquired from Ukraine. While Chinese engineers might have gained considerable insight into the Flanker design from the T-10K-3 and other Su-27 derivatives in Beijing’s possession, because they did not develop the jet or its systems, they do not fully understand the airframe due to some of the traditional limitations inherent to reverse engineering. These gaps in knowledge probably led to the some of the problems the Chinese are now encountering with the J-15 design. (Source: News Now/https://nationalinterest.org)
06 Aug 18. Venezuelan drone attack claim revives security risk fears. Regulators in push to introduce international standards to tackle concerns. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s claim that he was targeted by a double drone strike on Saturday will revive fears that unmanned aircraft could one day be used to carry out a successful assassination hit or terrorist attack. With analysts at International Data Corporation predicting worldwide spending of $9bn on drones this year and a 32 per cent annual sales growth rate up to 2023, regulators and security officials are racing to introduce new international standards to reduce the security risks posed by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Earlier this year, the UK government introduced new laws to restrict all drones from flying above 400ft and within 1km of airport boundaries. The legislation, which came into force last week, will also require owners of UAVs weighing more than 250 grammes to register with the British Civil Aviation Authority and for pilots to take an online safety test. In the US, the failure in 2015 of radar and security systems to pick up a small drone that crashed into a tree on the south lawn of the White House led to calls for manufacturers to introduce geo-fencing, inbuilt no-fly zones to prevent drones straying into restricted areas. The US Federal Aviation Administration now enforces a 30-mile radius no fly zone in Washington DC with a 15-mile inner ring for drones in areas where flying an unmanned aircraft without FAA permission is prohibited. But while some companies have introduced geo-fencing into their systems, analysts say it offers only limited security against a UAV attack. “It has to be constantly updated and if you are a terrorist or activist nothing stops you building your own device,” said Robert Garbett, from consultants Drone Major, who is part of a committee of experts working on new international safety standards for UAVs. Counter-measure systems, which detect and then disable or intercept drones, are a more effective way of enforcing no-fly zones for UAVs, Mr Garbett added. Some systems deploy radio jammers that throw any suspicious UAV off course while others fire nets over the drone to take it down. In France and the Netherlands, golden eagles have even been trained to take down mini unmanned helicopters that stray into secure airspace. For Venezuela’s security services, removing the drone threat may not be enough to prevent another attack from the air. Last June a police pilot and one-time film star commandeered a helicopter and attacked Venezuela’s Interior Ministry and Supreme Court, firing 15 shots and dropping grenades on the building below. (Source: FT.com)
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