Our military have until now downplayed the risk of terrorist drone strikes in Britain. Commercial UAVs such as those which carried out the Gatwick attack — and an attack is what it surely was, in effect if not in intent — can carry relatively small payloads, and thus charges.
As one expert says: “You do better to steal a car and pack it with explosives.” Yet the Isis attacks in Iraq described at the beginning of this article highlight a different threat: the use of commercial or even hobby surveillance drones to pinpoint targets for other weapons systems, whether ground-fired rockets or missiles.
We can and should provide drone protection for airports and government installations. But the difficulties are almost insurmountable of defending every vulnerable target in Britain against drone-guided terrorism.
I have believed for years that we have been rashly complacent, viewing drones merely as a convenient western tool for watching and when necessary killing our enemies in far distant places. UAVs will play a key role in future conflicts, terror and anti-terror campaigns, and this will assuredly not always be one to our taste or advantage.
The Gatwick shambles is a foretaste of the disruption, and probably eventually deaths, that UAVs in the hands of our enemies can inflict upon a peaceful, relatively vulnerable society such as our own.
For the full article, see the following:
On the Gatwick drone disruption, see the following as well: