Spain’s Secretary of State for Defense (Sedef), Agustín Conde, sad on Tuesday during the inauguration of the European summit on RPAS for security and defense, UNVEX S&D, that this event held in the northwestern Spanish city of León represented an excellent opportunity to establish contacts between the public administration and the sector’s industry.
Conde was accompanied by UNVEX’s director, Ángel Macho, and the mayor of León, Antonio Silván. Between May 29-31, the summit will bring together at the city’s congress hall over 45 institutions and domestic and international companies that will unveil the latest developments in the field of RPAS and analyze the sector’s upcoming challenges in the years ahead.
Conde said during his speech that the fair was taking place at a crucial time for the “Europe of the Defense” (“L’Europe de la défense”). In this regard, he underscored that remotely-piloted systems play a relevant role within the initiatives launched in the fields of security and defense. The aim, he added, was to reach strategic autonomy in key technologies for the security of member states.
The Sedef analyzed the latest advances in the Euromale program, in which Spain, Germany, France and Italy all take part. During last month’s ILA Berlin Air Show, the three companies participating in the project – Airbus DS, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo – unveiled a full-scale model of the future MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) RPAS.
Conde explained that at a domestic level, Spain’s Ministry of Defense was working to link together institutions and companies with the aim of establishing a network of contacts to boost the development of a Spanish industry with a large capacity for growth.
As to the challenges, he highlighted that “the proliferation of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) implies a regulation of airspace,” while adding the need to establish restricted flight zones and to train drone pilots according to the aircraft’s size and reach.
At the same time, he reminded attendees that at the start of next year, the Spanish Air Force will receive General Atomics’ MALE Predator, an RPAS that will provide the force with a qualitative leap when it comes to its surveillance and intelligence capabilities.