for Darmanin, drones are the “main” threat during major events – RT in French

The Minister of the Interior said that a “drone attack” was “the main terrorist threat” for the next sporting events which will take place in France, in particular the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Olympic Games in 2024.

Drones would constitute “the main terrorist threat of today and tomorrow”, said Gérald Darmanin on November 20 to AFP. “A drone loaded with explosives which goes over a crowd, over an exposed team, over an opening ceremony like at the Olympic Games for example”, described the Minister of the Interior, who represented France at the ceremony and of the opening match of the 2022 World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador.

“When we organize an event like this, cyber attacks, the fight against drones, questions of terrorist threats, the flow of people are important subjects”, continues the tenant of Place Beauvau. The latter explains in particular that in Doha, “we have 225 police officers, gendarmes and deminers, who are there to help secure the French supporters who will be up to 20,000”. Among these agents, sent to Doha as part of a “France-Qatar partnership” agreement voted on August 4 in the National Assembly, 170 are specialized in the fight against drones.

Without comparing a football or rugby World Cup and the Olympic Games, the minister mentioned “things that can obviously inspire us”. “It’s intelligence and experience to know for tomorrow, for the Rugby World Cup and the Olympics. There is to learn from previous competitions, it is also the last major competition before our own competitions organized in France”, he remarked.

Securing the World Cup: a full-scale test before the Olympics

Securing the opening ceremony of the Paris Games, which will take place on the Seine with 600,000 spectators expected, is a major concern for the French authorities. For this event, which is to take place on July 26, 2024, 35,000 police and gendarmes will be mobilized. Human resources which, on their own, cannot ward off the threat of a drone attack.

Inexpensive, difficult to detect as well as to target due to their small size, “militarized” civilian drones constitute a threat against which even the best equipped armies still have difficulty in fighting. In the context of major events, fears lie both in the damage that a trapped drone would cause and in the panic that its attack could cause.

Nevertheless, in the anti-drone sector, France is not starting from nothing, quite the contrary. From the mid-2010s, and the overflights of nuclear power plants in a country devastated by terrorist attacks, the need to counter these unmanned aircraft became apparent. Since then, the Ministry of the Armed Forces has been working to equip itself with a panel of countermeasures, from the jamming rifle intended for infantrymen to the laser turret which will equip the buildings of the French Navy.

It is this last weapon, with directed energy developed by Cilas and Arianegroup, capable of grilling a drone at one kilometer, which was chosen to secure the 2024 Games. As for the Rugby World Cup in September 2023, the Management general arming counts on Thales and CS Group to develop by then PARADE (Protection deployable modular anti-drones), a system supposed to come to expand the tricolor arsenal.

RT All Fr Trans

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