Belgium’s Army will begin the training of an estimated 60 drone operators following an agreement with a Belgian supplier to receive a number of ‘Commercial Off The Shelf’ (COTS) drones.
The multi-year agreement with Antwerp based Aerialsolutions allows for the purchase and maintenance of drones, as well as the training of the operators, according to a release from the company. The first batch of about 25 drones has already been delivered.
The COTS drones will be used to investigate how the unmanned aerial vehicles can be used in defence. They will also be used to explore the different applications in which drones can play a supporting role, says Aerialsolutions. Small drones are already being used for reconnaissance assignments in foreign armed forces, it adds.
In recent years Belgium has seen a rise in drone-based solutions from all corners of society.
Rescuers in Blankenberge – on Belgium’s coast – announced earlier this year that they will be using a drone next summer to aid with rescue operations. The City of Brussels has also greenlit a project aimed at examining the feasibility of using drones in medical emergencies, while Infrabel, the national rail infrastructure company, has begun testing the use of drones to help combat cable theft.
Other areas still require changes to regulation, such as in the agriculture and the logistics sector where currently the spraying and transport of goods remain banned.
The Brussels Times