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As the role of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) continues to grow in all sectors of society, new applications for drones in security and defence continue to emerge. While the possibilities presented by drones in the theatre of war have already been explored, more research is now being undertaken into their potential for improving security.

It is still fairly early days for drones at the moment and therefore the use of them in security is fairly limited at this point in time. There are a lot of recent projects which are testing the water, but there is no major infrastructural protection. There is a lot of interest, but it is converting that interest into a commercial product and/or service which is a challenge, and this is where we are at. I think it will come, though.

How long do you think it is going to take for it to take off?

we believe that in the next five years we will see a major change in this approach. When it comes to talking to investors and companies, there is a reluctance centred around questions such as cost and whether drones in security and defence are really needed. Unfortunately, until something happens, people generally don’t see the benefits of having sky defence, as we are always fixated with ground defence such as security gates, guards, and watchmen.

The third dimension is the future in terms of breaching security. People climbing over fences or walking through gates with fake passes is still a threat, but it is not going to be the only threat and I think people have lost perspective about the third dimension. You can fly over any size fence very easily, and you have no defence against such an attack. Petrochemical plants, nuclear plants, big infrastructural buildings and government buildings are pretty much wide open at this point in time, and just because no one has attacked them yet, it doesn’t mean someone isn’t going to try in the near future. Unfortunately, I believe that it will take an attack to focus people’s attention and see the benefit of a third dimension defence.

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