The Försvarsmakten (the Swedish Armed Forces) has issued the country’s Home Guard military units with UAVs for a range of protection, surveillance and defence tasks.
The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration procured the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems on behalf of the Försvarsmakten to enable Home Guard units to make tactical decisions based on near real-time intelligence on objects hidden due to terrain or foliage cover.
According to the Försvarsmakten, the UAVs delivered to the Home Guard will be known as UAV 06 A and will form part of the UAV 06 Magpie system. According to Shephard Defence Insight, the UAVs were the Anafi, a quadcopter micro-UAV manufactured by French drone manufacturer Parrot.
“The fact that the Home Guard is now the first to make widespread use of remotely piloted aircraft is just right in time,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jan-Åke Andersson, chief of the National Home Guard Staff’s support department. “These systems increase the units’ ability to carry out their tasks in both daylight and darkness.”
Features of the Anafi include an optical camera with 1-32x zoom, a 320×256 pixel IR camera, GPS tracking and the ability to fly predetermined routes autonomously. Later in the year, a carrying system will be delivered to the Swedish Home Guard to assist in the logistics of moving the UAVs in the field.
France has ordered 450 Anafi systems from Parrot since January 2021, however, the manufacturer was unsuccessful in offering the platform to the US Army for its Short Range Reconnaissance UAS programme.
Shephard Defence Insight estimated that the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration procured 130 drones for just over US$1 million, with each unit and its supporting equipment costing approximately $8,000.