Since aerial uncrewed systems (UxS) have started being used – first by governments, and later, by a wide range of actors – the technology behind these systems has continuously evolved and improved. New technological advances have enabled aerial UxS to fly longer distances, operate more stealthily, be equipped with increasingly autonomous functions, carry heavier payloads, and much more.
Such advances, along with factors such as decreasing costs of production and use, have increased both the accessibility and proliferation of aerial UxS. Meanwhile, similar developments have also emerged for UxS in the maritime and land domains, raising questions as to potential parallels to their aerial equivalents.
While the issues of autonomy and lethality in such systems is a topic already under much scrutiny, including in UN fora, a holistic understanding of the broader set of technological capabilities pertaining to these systems is crucial in order to fully understand their risks to and impact on international security. This UNIDIR webinar, featuring an interdisciplinary group of experts, provided an overview of existing and anticipated technological advances, and what these mean in terms of system performance.
A recording of the event is available on UNIDIR’s YouTube Channel or below.
Dr. Dominika Kunertova, Senior Researcher on International Security, NATO, and Emerging Tech, Center for Security Studies (CSS) ETH Zürich
Mr. Abhijit Singh, Senior Fellow and Head, Maritime Policy Initiative, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi
Dr Caitlin Lee, Senior Fellow for the Mitchell’s Institute’s Center for Unmanned and Autonomous Systems
Moderated by Sarah Grand-Clément, Researcher, Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme and Security and Technology Programme, UNIDIR
When and Where
The event took place Online on Wednesday, 19th April 2023.
UNIDIR encouraged the participation of members of the diplomatic community, industry, civil society, and intergovernmental organisations and experts specialized or interested in issues pertaining to uncrewed systems.