An urgent matter of drones: What NATO should learn from UAS operations in Ukraine

By Tim Mahon

A recent report published by the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC, focuses attention on what the UAS and C-UAS communities can and should learn from careful observation and analysis of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict. A link to the extensive report – which makes for absorbing and thought-provoking reading – is provided below, but we think it valuable and interesting to consider the conclusions the authors reach.

  1. NATO must swiftly and carefully assess both UAS and counter-UAS capability requirements, using lessons learned from recent conflicts, taking recent technological developments and threat evolution into account;
  2. Both capability and policy/doctrine development need to be guided by the imperative for multi-domain operations and by the requirements for scale and interoperability;
  3. There is an imperative need to enhance and refine enabling capabilities, including AI, data architecture, communications and cyber/space functionalities;
  4. Leveraging the significant innovation efforts already underway among NATO member states and partners should be accompanied by improvement of the operational experimentation and procurement processes;
  5. At the NATO level, doctrine, operational concepts and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) must be reassessed and appropriately modified to reflect new and expanded UAS roles and the increasing importance of counter-UAS;
  6. Development of the appropriate human resources requires a specific focus in order to assure UAS and C-UAS capability integration into NATO and member states forces.

The issue of watching and learning from current conflicts is a supremely important one. Unmanned Airspace is currently engaged in its own analysis of what the C-UAS community can take away from events in Ukraine for reflection and analysis: the results will be made available in a special report to be published in December. For further details, please send you contact details and inquiry to Tim Mahon, Publisher – C-UAS.

For more information

An Urgent Matter of Drones: Lessons for NATO from Ukraine – CEPA


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