On 25 March, Airbus Defence and Space has finally unveiled that the Italian Avio Aero will be the company that will power the Eurodrone aerial system with a new twin-turboprop propulsion engine. After years of negotiations about the project and following a competitive tender process, the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – MALE RPAS (Eurodrone) sees a step forward in its construction.
In the last decades, drones have become quite famous: they can be seen doing a wide variety of actions, from taking spectacular aerial photographs and high-definition videos to counter-terrorism missions. Drones’ low procurement cost, according to the United Nations (UN), is facilitating their quick proliferation. Their compact size and precise skills make them more likely to be weaponised and deployed surreptitiously by state and non-state actors in violation of transparency and accountability rules.
As it has always been, today’s armies are also updated with the most modern technologies. One of the major breakthroughs in the military field has been the implementation of drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (Marcus, 2022). These drones consist of aircraft of different sizes that can operate without a pilot on board.
A team at MIT can now build small drones that fly around with bug-like agility and elasticity because of a new type of artificial muscle. Kevin Chen, senior author of the paper, states that “This opens up a lot of opportunity in the future for us to transition to putting power electronics on the microrobot,".
Loitering munitions are nothing new on the battlefield, but cheaper versions could soon be a game-changer. They first started to appear in the 1980s as Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) weapons, and they were soon dubbed as “suicide drones” and “kamikaze drones”.