“Spain to Enlist Drones in Fight Against Somali Pirates
By Sharon Weinberger / Contributor
(May 28) — Military ships patrolling Africa waters have tracked pirates using submarine-hunting aircraft, shipboard radar and helicopters. Now, drones are increasingly being added to the arsenal of weapons targeting pirates off the coast of Somalia.
Spain plans to deploy unmanned helicopters as part of its military operations against the pirates. ‘It’s the first time that Spain will use a remote-controlled patrol in the European mission Atalanta,’ noted Avionews.
Operation Atalanta is the name for the European Union’s anti-piracy naval patrol, designed to protect ships off the coast of Somalia, which have been the target of increasing attacks. Eight member countries, including Spain, participate in those operations.
The Spanish government hasn’t decided specifically what type of unmanned vehicle it will purchase, but it expects to spend 17 million euros to buy four aircraft for the anti-piracy mission, according to The Barcelona Reporter.
There are a number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that Spain could choose. Canadian aerospace company Bombardier has reportedly developed a small unmanned helicopter designed for anti-piracy, called Crows Nest, and in the U.S., Northrop Grumman has touted unmanned vehicles like its Fire Scout UAV for anti-piracy operations.
Last year, the U.S. announced plans to send unarmed versions of the MQ-9 Reaper drone to the Seychelles to combat piracy.”
(Quelle: AOL News.)