This is cool. The rebels in Libya are using a Aeryon Scout UAV in their war. There is some great footage that they were able to capture with this UAV and definitely check it out. On a side note, it sounds like the PSC called the Zariba Security Corporation delivered the UAV to the rebels. Chalk up another instance of PSC’s on the ground in Libya.
Also, check this quote out from Aeryon’s website. Now that is a user friendly, simple to use UAV!
In cooperation with the Zariba Security Corporation and the Libyan Transitional National Council, Libyan tropps were trained in-country on the use of the Aeryon Scout UAV. Docking in the besieged city of Misrata, after an 18-hour boat ride from Malta, a representative from Zariba Security delivered and conducted Scout UAV training. With enemy artillery landing nearby and rockets still falling on the city, training began at the Misrata Airport. “After only one demonstration flight, the TNC soldiers operated the following flight,” said Charles Barlow of Zariba. “I was amazed how easy it was to train people with no previous UAV or aircraft experience, especially given the language barrier. Soldiers need tough, intuitive equipment – and the Scout delivered brilliantly.”
Which brings up a great idea with weapons development. I mentioned the Fisher Price AK 47 in the past, and I really like the concept of simple to use, but extremely durable battlefield tools. I would imagine that this UAV can also be viewed using iPhones or similar smart phones? If so, then rebels could show one another very easily what they are seeing with a quick playback or if they were all networked, so that everyone can know the placements of enemies. Very interesting, and I am sure this will add another chapter to Guerrilla Warfare manuals everywhere. –Matt
Edit: 08/23/2011- It was brought to my attention that the Libyan rebels had paid for this UAV, and it was not donated like I originally posted. A source for this would be Wired’s Danger Room and they were able to talk with the players involved. Supposedly the drones are worth about $100,000 to $150,000. The Globe and Mail reported as well. I have no idea how much Zariba’s services cost, or if that was included in the price. Maybe the rebels will pay for NATO and all of the bombs they dropped as well? lol