On 5th August, Defence Web published an article saying that smart robotics, autonomous vehicles, materials that are lighter and tougher mean that for the first time non-state adversaries such as ISIS, Boko-Haram and Al-Qaeda can access aerial warfare assets, particularly with the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Whilst basic IED are seen as anti-personnel weapons, more sophisticated IED are used to destroy armoured vehicles, such as those with shaped-charge warheads that upon detonation create molten metal that penetrates heavy armour, have proven powerful enough to destroy M1 Abrams tanks employed by the US Army. The article summarises the types and uses of IED – such as suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIED) and boat-based ones. It discusses the use of drones (drone borne IED or DBIED) and 4G communications, including remote-viewing and guidance, as well as other technologies, such as GPS. All of this impacts on potential suppliers, and export and dual-use controls, adding to the need for attention, even where relatively innocuous equipment might be involved.
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