The second day of the conference “Unmanned Systems Forum. Smart Approach, Fast Development” began with a panel dedicated to the legal issues governing the RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems) industry.
The discussion was moderated by Augustin Lupu, President of UVS Romania Association and had as speakers Andres Lopez, Head of the Office for EU Coordination and Regulatory Development, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Spain; Remus Dogaru, Head of the National Certification Department Civil Aeronautical Authority, Col. Florin Tudor, Director of the Military Aeronautical Authority, Romania and Dorota Jaworska, Specialist, Civil Aviation Authority, Poland.
Drones are already part of our lives and are no longer a novelty in the field of aviation, and we expect them to develop further and remain a significant sector, which requires specific regulation. The principles on which the process of forming the legal framework is based must take into account the performance of equipment, the introduction of the concept of geographical areas, proportionality to risk, the broad concept of the term “operator”, security and confidentiality. The challenges identified in the formation of the legal framework are geographical areas for unmanned aerial systems, categories and minimum requirements, insurance, registration and declaration of those certified as operators, specialized training, but future challenges such as urban air mobility must be considered.
The second panel of the day considered the cooperation potential of civilian and military research to support programs envisaged by the Ministry of Defense, programs with unmanned systems for the Armed Forces, industrial cooperation between large foreign companies and national industry. The speakers were Dragoș Ciuparu, Secretary of State, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, Romania; MG Teodor Incicaș, Head of the Directorate for Armaments, Ministry of National Defense, Romania; Laurențiu Pachiu, D&B Partner David and Baias, Romania; Assaf Cohen, Director, Marketing Manager UAS Business Unit, Elbit Systems, Israel and was moderated by George Scutaru, CEO of New Strategy Center.
The cooperation opportunities for the development of unmanned systems are numerous, being necessary to maintain a budget that would allow the Ministry of National Defense to invest in equipping itself with new equipment. In order to achieve these objectives, it is necessary to ensure political support for a long-term strategy, the professionalization of the human resources involved in such projects and the cooperation between military and civilian research.
Several research projects are currently under development at the level of the Ministry of National Defense and are considering unmanned aerial, naval or terrestrial systems. In the acquisition process, the Ministry of National Defense is interested in several types of UAVs, with the approval of the Parliament for the acquisition of 7 UAV systems at a tactical-operational level. Equipping with autonomous systems is a priority for the Ministry of National Defense in the next period, as well as the involvement of the national defense industry so that there can be in Romania production capabilities of unmanned systems of various types.
The third panel of the conference “Unmanned Systems Forum. Smart Approach, Fast Development ”was about detecting drones and countermeasure systems against them. The discussion moderated by Greg Melcher, Chief Operations Office, New Generation Warfare Center, USA, had as speakers Dr. Ulrike Franke, Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations, UK, Dr. Bruno Martins, Senior Researcher, Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway, Wing Commander Phil Skorge, Capability Development Manager, UK Army, Dr. Scott Crino, CEO of Red Six Solutions, USA and James Cross, Director of OpenWorks Engineering, UK.
In modern warfare, drones have become an increasingly used tool, observing state and non-state actors with increasing interest and investments into this type of capability. With the proliferation of such systems, countermeasures are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Critical infrastructure becomes more fragile as the use of unmanned aerial systems becomes more widespread, and events and public spaces face more risks. As the legislation governing the field evolves, systems that emit electromagnetic, solar or light pulses, systems that detect drones such as radars or jamming or strike technologies are being considered by more and more actors involved. The development of drones also automatically leads to the development of systems to counteract them, both trends going in parallel and being interdependent.
The last panel of the day considered ISR (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) solutions for the security of the Black Sea region and was moderated by LTG (ret) Cătălin Moraru, former Deputy Director of the Armaments Department, Ministry of National Defense. The panel’s speakers were Greg Melcher, Chief Operations Officer, New Generation Warfare Center, USA, Commander Yuri Covaleov, Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence for ISR, Ministry of National Defense, Sibel Duz, Researcher, SETA, Turkey and Dave Fluker, International Business Executive, Insitu, USA.
The Black Sea region is a space described by a strong military stance of the Russian Federation, which wants to redefine the balance of power in the region, which has a negative impact, including on freedom of navigation. The drones functioned as a multiplier of forces in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and may change the course of major conflicts, as happened in the Nagorno Karabakh clashes, with significant potential.
The conclusions of the event were formulated by MG (Ret) Leonardo Dinu, Member of the Scientific Council of the New Strategy Center, announcing the intention of the New Strategy Center to turn this forum into an annual event.