08/03/2021 by MAIJA PALMER
Technology used to flow from the military to the private sector. Now armies are turning to startups to help them keep up.
When Azerbaijan emerged victorious late last year, in the 44-day war against Armenia for control of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, it was widely believed that it was Turkish TB2 drones that had helped them win.
The drones weren’t made by a big defence conglomerate though, but by a relatively small Turkish car parts manufacturer-turned-drone company Baykar Makina.
They cost as little as $1m to $2m each according to analyst estimates — far less than the near $20m per drone price of the high-end Protector drones used by, for example, the British military. Though they had a smaller range than the more expensive drones, they could loiter in the air longer and were more expendable, bringing a new type of tactic into aerial warfare.
The tactical edge provided by such a new piece of kit from a small company was yet another wake-up call for western defence departments that they were falling behind by not tapping into new technologies fast enough, and has added fuel to the mounting calls from within the military establishment to further tap into the power of private sector innovation.
Read the rest of the article, including Arnaud Guérin’s -Preligens’ CEO- interview here