Not widely reported, but this story here caught our attention at IMSL this week. A little more detail here. Earlier this month four small commercial “off the shelf” UAVs simultaneously overflew four French nuclear reactors, hundreds of miles apart. Three other UAVs were spotted at different times over other nuclear sites. And no-one knows who did it. That’s very intriguing and there are a lot of implications to this activity, which largely haven’t been picked up by the press. Here’s a few of thoughts and implications – feel free to add your own:
- A “naked” foreign intelligence service operative, or a terrorist, now has the ability to conduct aerial reconnaissance of any facility. Has a response to this capability been thought through? These things have relatively short range but there was no response capability to look beyond the perimeter and identify those controlling the UAV.
- Electronic counter-measures?
- What useful datas could be gathered? Not just at these sites but at other sensitive locations. Have the security implications of this surveillance technology been thought through. What other sites woudl be vulnerable?
- Look, they did 4 nuclear plants at once…. there’s some interesting implications on that issue alone
- They have a coordinating capability involving a group of people.
- They knew they might be spotted so conducted four operations to ensure that countermeasures weren’t in place, if the first of a sequence of operations prevented subsequent activities
- What counter-surveillance or security systems are reasonable? A security guard with binoculars is fair enough but some of these flights occurred at night.
We confidently predict that this issue isn’t going to go away.