site.btaPresident Radev Stresses Drones' Importance in Armed Forces

President Radev Stresses Drones' Importance in Armed Forces
President Radev Stresses Drones' Importance in Armed Forces
President Rumen Radev reviewing the Guard of Honour, Kazanlak, June 13, 2024 (BTA Photo/Ralitsa Stefanova)

Bulgarian Land Forces drone operators are taking part in a competition at the Tyulbe Training Centre near Kazanlak on Thursday under the auspices of President Rumen Radev, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. During the event, Bulgarian defence industry representatives are demonstrating the capabilities of drones and anti-drone systems.

Nine teams are taking part in the competition: three from the 2nd Mechanized Brigade in Stara Zagora, two from the 61st Mechanized Brigade in Karlovo and Kazanlak, one from the 3rd Brigade Command in Blagoevgrad, one from the 5th Brigade Command in Pleven, and one from the 101st Alpine Regiment in Smolyan. Each team is made up of two servicepersons with two unmanned drones. The competition complies with the EU regulation on drone operation in the open category. There is also a static display of weapons and equipment.

President Radev said: "I have long called for unmanned aerial systems to start entering the Bulgarian Armed Forces and this is finally a fact." In 2023, the Administration of the President organized a major conference on this topic together with members of the Defence Ministry, the Armed Forces and Bulgarian industry and academia, he added.

"I also insisted that we hold just such a competition, today is a historic day because we are opening the door to creating a new service branch, Unmanned Systems Forces," he said, stressing that this is an absolute requirement of the future. "We see what is happening in the conflicts in the Caucasus, in Ukraine, in Gaza. Without such systems, it is unthinkable to mount an effective modern operation without them," Radev said. He noted that these are affordable technologies with a huge asymmetric effect and a huge impact on the battlefield.

The President also said: "I am glad that we are finally starting to train people [to operate drones] in the Bulgarian Armed Forces because we have to change the legislation so that the purchase and delivery of such systems is much faster and we can keep abreast of the rapid changes in technology - this is a whole technological revolution." He talked of the need to expand training in the  military education establishments, build a national training centre for drone operators and know how best to use them. Radev said this step had already been taken and praised the organizers of, and participants in, the competition. "The tasks we are setting for next year are much more ambitious," he added. 

According to the President, this country was slow to act, but "most importantly, we have dealt with red tape". "The big projects are vital - the planes, the ships and the infantry combat vehicles, but they are also very expensive. Meanwhile, we can achieve some serious capabilities with much less money," Radev said. 

The President was accompanied by his wife, Desislava Radeva.

/PP/

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By 07:18 on 25.07.2024 Today`s news

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