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But who's flying the plane? Integrating UAVs into the Canadian and Danish armed forces

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members such as Canada and Denmark have transformed their military forces to better engage in expeditionary warfare. They are incorporating advanced technologies to find and strike targets precisely from great distances at little risk to themselves. The persistence of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represents the next step in modern airpower's long-range reconnaissance/precision strike complex and has transformed ground operations. Nonetheless, operational requirements in Afghanistan caught Canada and Denmark flat-footed. Ultimately, Canada effectively used UAVs while Denmark could not. Moreover, neither state has a UAV capability beyond small tactical systems (although each has plans to develop or join in the development of larger ones). The Canadian and Danish experiences suggest that ground forces are most likely to acquire and integrate small UAVs into their force structures and concepts of operation and that the air forces of small- and medium-sized Western countries will likely do so only in cooperation with others. It is here that the Canadian and Danish UAV paths may yet again cross.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal
Volume70
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)250-267
Number of pages17
ISSN0020-7020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2015

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle, Transform, air force, airpower, NATO, innovation, weapons acquisition, Afghanistan, Canada, Denmark

ID: 134722505