Adm. Santiago Ramón González Gómez, Spain’s Director-General of Armament and Material (Digam), said on Wednesday at UNVEX S&D that his office, the DGAM, was focusing on the design of certification procedures for RPAS and in the training of operators for these systems.
The admiral also underscored the need for close cooperation with other branches of the administration and with the Defense and Security industry with the purpose of identifying capabilities based on the requirements set by the various units.
During his speech in the second day of the European RPAS summit being held this week in the northwestern Spanish city of León, he said the Ministry of Defense was also working on other areas with growing interest such as the development of drone swarms. In November of last year, the training facility of San Gregorio saw the first tests in Spain with collaboration from the Army at the industry’s request. In this field, Spain is looking to launch a European project involving several member states.
Speaking at an event with more than 50 institutions and companies present, González Gómez emphasized that the strengthening of the defense industrial and technological base in RPAS was one of the strategic guidelines being set by the ministry.
The admiral followed up with the lessons learned within the ministry’s Rapaz (“Predator”) program.
“It has allowed for a better understanding among users and industry through experimenting with the systems, and it has provided us with better judgment, at a technological and industrial level, as to the industry’s true potential,” he said.
He added that INTA (Spain’s National Institute for Aerospace Technology) had played a crucial role in the field of RPAS certification.
The initiative has opened the doors to new programs: for example, the Digam explained that the ministry was working since the beginning of the year on the Condor project, whose aim it is to identify anti-drone systems available on the Spanish market and implement their capabilities in operational units, a procedure that has already been successfully attempted during the Rapaz program.
González Gómez said that in the coming years, the DGAM was studying the deployment of unmanned ground vehicles and unmanned naval vessels, after having gained experience in the field of aerial systems.