EU: Special forces network seeks explosive drones for anti-terrorism operations


The EU-funded ATLAS network of special forces hopes to explore the possible use of drones fitted with explosives "as tactical support weapons and particularly to breach windows," according to its work programme for 2023, which has been obtained by Statewatch.

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The network also plans to obtain a "4-legged robot" as part of the effort to integrate "innovative technologies in reconnaissance and intervention operations."

It is estimated that the work on innovative technologies will cost almost 390,000. The work programme says the network's overall budget for 2023 will be 3.75 million.

In the medium-term, the network aims to improve "operational readiness to launch joint operations across Europe," and in the long-term "to support the EU missions in third countries, and hence to improve the implementation of the European Agenda on Security."

The ATLAS network was established following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the USA and brings together 38 "special intervention units" from every EU member state, as well as two forces from the UK - the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Metropolitan Police's Firearms Unit, SCO19, although they no longer receive EU funding.

See: NOTE from: ATLAS Network to: Delegations: ATLAS Network - Work Programme 2023 (Council doc. 13482/21, LIMITE, 9 November 2021, pdf)

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Image: West Midlands Police, CC BY-SA 2.0

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