Counter Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also commonly referred to as drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), are aircraft that operate without a pilot being on-board. The capabilities and availability of UAVs are developing quickly and they now present both challenges and opportunities for the Critical National Infrastructure and other businesses.

What are the threats posed by UAVs?

The threats posed by UAVs are underpinned by a broad range of factors. Some examples are:

  • Nuisance and/or reckless use
  • Protest
  • Reconnaissance
  • Espionage
  • Physical attack

CPNI aims to assist the National Infrastructure and other sensitive sites in determining the risks posed to their sites from UAVs and in ascertaining proportionate measures to mitigate these threats. Guidance relating to the use of UAVs and the risks they pose has been published, and will continue to be published, on this page as it is developed by CPNI.

Please also refer to the JTAC report on terrorist use of UAS in the West.

Assessing the strengths and vulnerabilities of a site to UAV threats

Once the nature of the threat is understood, practitioners should take a methodical and considered approach to determining the most appropriate and proportionate measures, using the guidance documents presented on this page.

Mitigating the risks associated with UAV threats

CPNI have developed a counter UAV (C-UAV) strategy which seeks to ensure effective C-UAV measures and operational responses are available to the UK critical national infrastructure and other sensitive sites. The CPNI strategy outlines the requirement for a method of detecting, tracking and identifying UAVs, and the implementation of a proportionate response.