Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 June 2019

Defence capabilities are lacking: Nato study

Military forces are now looking towards newer systems to counter threats.

ABU DHABI // Current defence capabilities in a number of scenarios do not offer a complete solution, a Nato study has revealed.

Military forces are turning to new defence systems, such as laser technology, to counter threats.

“According to the UK’s threat perception [study] last month, rockets, artillery and mortars are high threats and the threat is still here,” said Col Fabian Ochsner, a senior air-defence officer of the Swiss air force, at the Middle East Missile and Air Defence Symposium.

Nato recently conducted a study on low, slow and small threats and the findings were not promising.

“There are a number of scenarios [in which] today’s assets don’t offer a complete answer and there’s quite a way to go until we have systems that can deal with such situations,” said Col Ochsner.

He said armed forces were looking at laser technology as a defence solution.

The technology was developed in 2009. It was trialled in 2010 and was engaged in flight missions in 2011.

“It’s a big investment upfront because it’s tens of millions of dollars but it is worth it in the long-term,” said Col Ochsner.

“There are still a couple of years to go before it is available … the development and qualification still have to be done. We still have to look for legislation and that will drive how much there will be in the near future.”

Brig Gen Neil Thurgood, of the United States army’s aviation and missile command, said new technologies should be exploited.

“There’s a never-ending leap of technologies as we move forward, but we must collectively do that together to ensure success,” he said.

Viable and effective plans for missile and air defence systems are essential. “We must be prepared to execute with technology that is coordinated, studied, prepared and evaluated,” said Brig Gen Thurgood. “We must invest in technologies that can modify our existing weapon systems and develop new technologies to our science-and-technology teams that will begin to change our platforms and the designs to engage the emerging technologies to [counter] emerging threats that are sure to show up in the future battlefield.”

cmalek@thenational.ae

Updated: April 28, 2014 04:00 AM

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