Drone Roundup September 1-11
This roundup, curated by ReThink Media, looks at how the media is talking about drone warfare (and related topics) and what stories are being told.
With little transparency from governments on this topic, this roundup aims to be as comprehensive as possible, identifying breaking news, trends, developing stories, or interesting narratives. Rethink Media also use media coverage to compile a snapshot of strikes each week. The short version can be read here.
The Nigerian Air Force established a base for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and other air assets in Gombe state. [The Blueprint]
With Poland set to acquire 32 F-35A fighter jets under a deal signed in January, the aircraft’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, is gearing up to supply the country with long-range drones to enhance the F-35′s operational capacities. [Defense News / Jaroslaw Adamowski]
Last year, American warplanes dropped a record number of bombs on Taliban targets in Afghanistan, part of an effort that started in late 2018 to push the Taliban toward a deal to end nearly 20 years of conflict. In the same period, allegations of civilian casualties reviewed by the Pentagon doubled. But the number of in-depth investigations into those allegations dropped by half. Hundreds of charges of Afghan civilian deaths and injuries as a result of airstrikes received only an initial assessment. Before 2019, a board of about a dozen U.S. civilian and military officials worked with a group of U.S. military investigators called the Civilian Casualty Mitigation Team to assesses allegations. But Resolute Support dissolved the board during the first half of 2019, citing efficiency concerns, according to the U.N. report. A “backlog” of allegations developed as the pace of airstrikes increased, and the board was abolished in an attempt to accelerate the review process, the report said. The move left only the four people who make up the Civilian Casualty Mitigation Team to process hundreds of allegations of casualties. [WaPo / Susannah George]
General Atomics says that it has successfully integrated and flight-tested Agile Condor, a podded, artificial intelligence-driven targeting computer, on its MQ-9 Reaper drone as part of a technology demonstration effort for the U.S. Air Force. The system is designed to automatically detect, categorize, and track potential items of interest. [The Drive / Joseph Trevithick]
Palmer Luckey, the founder of Anduril Industries (which received part of the Project Maven contract) and proud Trump supporter, has created a new military drone: The Ghost 4. [CNET / Stephen Shankland]
A new joint Israeli and U.S. program aims to develop an augmented reality based control for unmanned systems to engage in small drone-on-drone warfare. [Defense News / Seth Frantzman]