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Two specialist UAVs designed specifically for counter-terror operations were showcased by the French company CM Drones at a recent international exhibition. The company promoted its Drone for Reconnaissance and Intervention in Perilous Environments (DRIMP), multirotor UAV and Drone for Interior Wired Operations (DOFIN) quadcopter mini UAV.

The DRIMP is a quadcopter UAV designed to transport and deploy a grapple, hook or 20m rope ladder for rescue, crossing or assault operations on land or at sea. It is fully capable of operating in a maritime environment and can fly even with a 70km per hour wind. Its maximum payload is 6 kg.

Jean-Philippe Culas, CEO of the company, explained to that the idea for the DRIMP came to him while watching the news and seeing the difficulties encountered by law enforcement in reaching the places where killers hid.

He realized that using a UAV to drop a grapple onto the roof of the building would have allowed the forces to reach it and he decided to develop such an aircraft. The company was created in February 2015 and the development work on the DRIMP began a few months later.

The bulk of the development and triallng work on the DRIMP is now complete and CM Drones expects to begin series production of the type in late 2017. In addition to French forces, the type has also generated interest among foreign militaries.

The DOFIN, meanwhile, is a mini quadcopter UAV designed for close quarter battle (CQB) and intervention in confined areas. It is a simple system comprising the UAV itself which features a pair of 180° cameras offering a 360° vision field which is connected by a 5m wire to a small console which is then connected to a control handle comprising a four-inch screen which allows the operator to see the footage generated by the UAV’s cameras.

The operating concept for this system is that a counter-terrorism operator progressing in a confined environment deploys the drone as a reconnaissance tool to check rooms ahead of himself and his team while still being able to use his weapon normally. In case of need he can release the drone rapidly.

The DOFIN integrates an obstacle detection and avoidance software and is conceived as a cheap and disposable aircraft. Each DOFIN system comprises four mini UAVs, their cables and consoles as well as control handle with its screen. The cost of the system is given as highly competitive and has attracted much interest. As Culas explained, while the idea is for each mini UAV to be disposable, the aircraft could be repaired if the damage they have suffered is limited.