In recent years, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have increasingly become a feature of modern conflict, their ease of production using locally-available materials and deployment via support networks providing adversaries, unable to compete on conventional terms, with an inexpensive and effective weapon system. It is therefore unsurprising that addressing the generic IED threat has become a priority for NATO, and is likely to remain so in the conduct of Alliance operations across the spectrum of conflict into the future.
Over the next five to seven years, NATO will see a tremendous increase in its use of UAS on the European continent and in combat areas such as Afghanistan. While the latter is generally not an issue because the airspace is controlled by the military, the former is the real challenge. Therefore, this article will present the current status of UAS integration into the European NAS.