Signing of a partnership between the French Air and Space Forces, CNES and Groupe ADP about anti-drone warfare

A partnership has been signed today between the French Air and Space Forces, CNES and Groupe ADP to strengthen the cooperation into the framework of the anti-drone warfare. This agreement is made at a time when new forms of aerial threats are emerging with the increasing presence of drones.
This partnership, which will make it possible to strengthen the protection of the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) provided by the Air Defence and Air Operations Command (ADAOC) - during special air security arrangements, in conjunction with the Gendarmerie Nationale and the Paris Firemen Brigade -demonstrates the French Air Force's ability to evolve in order to increase its resilience in the face of air and space threats.
For Groupe ADP, this partnership will provide a detailed analysis of the threat, as well as the elements of risk control, so that an appropriate response, both in terms of equipment and procedures, can be provided for its infrastructures in the context of a proven drone threat for major airports.

The ability of the French Air Forces to operate in, to, and from space is crucial in a context of threats resurgence, especially in air and space fields. This is why the protection of the Guiana Space Centre is a priority for the French Air Forces. In conjunction with the Gendarmerie Nationale and the Paris Firemen Brigade, this mission is carried out by the ADAOC, which is responsible for the air security of French territory.
Considering the fight against drones as an extension of the air security mission in the lower layer, the French Air Forces wishes to cooperate with the CNES and Groupe ADP, two major players in the fight against malicious uses of aerial drones and in flight platforms protection. In this respect, the competence of the French Air Forces, its assessment of the threat and its operational expertise make it a natural partner.

Thus, this partnership between the French Air Forces, CNES and Groupe ADP will be implemented in the framework of three major themes:
- Threat assessment, in order to better identify potential threats from drones and their possible consequences on the infrastructures of the three signatories' entities;
- Experience sharing on the threats feared, the tools and strategies deployed, the processes  and approaches undertaken to increase the resilience of each actor;
- Technical exchanges, in order to benefit from each other's experience and improve existing systems. The sharing of legal analyses will also allow for the best possible participation in the possible legal improvements that are essential for anti-drone warfare.
This partnership is concluded for a 5-year time-period.

On this occasion, General Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff of the French Air and Space Forces, stated: "This partnership with Groupe ADP and CNES gives a new dynamic to the Air and Space Forces to meet the challenges of anti-drone warfare, and it will enable us to strengthen the protection of the Guiana Space Centre and of the Toulouse Space Centre. Implemented for the first time during the DPSA [special air security system] at the Paris Air Show in June 2019, the anti-drone concept has already proved its relevance during the protection of the 14th of July and the G7 in Biarritz, and is a definite contribution in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the 2024 Olympics. Indeed, innovation, coupled with short and reactive equipment acquisition processes, will be decisive in the future to meet these major challenges in terms of aviation security."
For Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO of CNES: "the Guiana Space Centre is a strategic point in terms of European sovereignty and access to space. Thanks to this partnership on anti-drone measures, the French Air Force and Space Agency, the ADP Group and CNES will enter into a phase of reflection to analyse the issues at stake and develop solutions to deal with these new practices. In the end, the CSG will benefit from increased efficiency in securing the site."

And Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP, to add: "For Groupe ADP, low altitude represents a new field for new uses, particularly around urban air mobility, but which is also seeing the emergence of new threats that we must know how to control, such as drones. This is why, since 2017, Groupe ADP has been working on the development of suitable tools to secure its airport infrastructures against this threat. Thanks to the partnership signed today with the French Air Force and the CNES, a rich cooperation is opening up between our three entities to meet evolving challenges, both in terms of the nature of the threat and the responses to it. "
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