'Act in haste, repent at leisure’: an overview of operational incidents involving UAVs in Afghanistan

Johnson, C.W. (2008) 'Act in haste, repent at leisure’: an overview of operational incidents involving UAVs in Afghanistan. In: Third IET Systems Safety Conference, NEC, Birmingham, UK, 2008, Birmingham, UK, 20-22 October 2008,

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Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) provide significant operational benefits to many different military organisations. At present, however, most systems lack the reliability of conventional air support. This imposes considerable demands on the teams that must operate and maintain UAVs. It also creates considerable risks for the units that must retrieve these vehicles and for local populations during offensive and peace keeping operations. The lack of reliability further increases the workload on investigatory agencies, which must identify the causes of failure in increasingly complex airborne and ground-based systems. It is, therefore, important that we identify the lessons that can be learned from previous UAV mishaps. The following pages review the four most serious incidents involving Tactical UAVs (TUAVs) used by the Canadian Defence Forces during Operation ATHENA (August 2003-November 2005). The military demands of operations around Kabul created an urgent requirement for UAV support. However, the decision to rush the deployment of these systems contributed to technical and organisational risks that threatened safety and created the preconditions where mishaps were likely to occur.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnson, Professor Chris
Authors: Johnson, C.W.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Publisher:IET Conference Publications

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