Drawing on the recent (July 14) celebration of Bastille Day, this post focuses on an apparently urgent appetite for unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”) in France. For military and surveillance purposes, the French are in the market for drones, both for purposes of updating a 20+ year fleet and ongoing international operations.
Military urgency notwithstanding, purchasing drones raises ethical and legal issues and questions in France that are no less robust than they are anywhere else. For example, the European Council of Foreign Relations has taken a specific position about the use of drones.
On the civil side, Europe, like America, is seriously evaluating how to integrate remotely piloted aircraft systems for positive economic purposes.