Ireland will deploy drones to fight drug trafficking

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Drug traffickers have long exploited Ireland’s long coastal line with limited naval resources to monitor and prevent drug trafficking.

Ireland’s over 3,100 km coastline is 10 times the size of its land mass, and far too large for its limited naval policing capacities to continuously monitor its borders. The government estimates that less than 10% of attempts to smuggle narcotics into Ireland are thwarted, making Ireland a preferred gateway of traffickers into the European Union. Besides, many of the drugs stay on the island, which contributes to the fact, that Ireland’s per capita drug fatalities are three times the level elsewhere in the EU.

Hence, the government of Ireland started to encourage the development and deployment of drones last year as part of its Guard Project. The initiative is looking to companies developing new and disruptive technologies to resolve problems the nation faces.

The drone has to have high water- and wind resistance to stand the stormy weather of the sea. Moreover, the aircraft should be able to fly over 800 km and take off and land from either ground positions or ships.

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