Mark sent a lead to this news for those who, like the writer, did not see it. Once again we note an increasing emphasis on the use of drones for protection, fact finding and surveillance with obscure or non-existent information about their military capabilities.
A new generation of drones, designed or camouflaged as large birds of prey, is being marketed to armies across the world by the Spanish company Expal which develops, manufactures, integrates and maintains products, systems and services for the defence and security sectors; weapon systems, munitions and energetic products; applications and technological systems.
The ‘Shepherd-Mil’ UAV prototype is designed to the exact body shape and feather pattern of an eagle but it can be modelled on any large bird commonly seen in the country in which it will be used. It is said to be able to fly at 100 metres (33ft) above the enemy without detection, compared with 1,000 metres for standard UAVs.
It costs about £1,000 and fits inside two briefcases, is being tested by the Spanish military, and Expal is in talks to sell it to several other countries’ armed forces.
On a more technical site we learn that Expal will be fitting some of these dronebirds with a TECHFIRE fire support information system so we gather that these small devices will assist lethal drones, mortars and artillery guns. Techfire is said to:
‘automate and accelerate all the tasks related to the direct or indirect fire, in a single gun or in a unit, allowing increased precision and control over supporting fire processes’.
A glance at the foreign press shows that this device aroused considerable interest in many attending the recent arms fair which another reader visited earlier this month.