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News in English

Drones for Denmark?

The defence minister wants Denmark to have its own drones.

News in English

Defence Minister Nick Hækkerup wants Denmark to follow other countries and have its own drones to take over some of the monitoring and battle tasks currently handled by the country’s F-16s, according to Information.

“I can see a list of tasks that it would be obvious to let drones carry out instead of fighter aircraft,” Hækkerup tells Information, adding that surveillance of Arctic regions would be one area.

“Drones are a relevant alternative, particularly in times of austerity, when they can supplement aircraft,” Hækkerup says but adds he can also see the benefits of using drones as weaponry.

“I would like to equip (our) soldiers with the best weapons and feel it is fine to use drones to bomb people who are placing roadside bombs in Afghanistan. If that can minimise the risk to our people, I have no problem in using drones,” he says.

The defence minister says he sees no particular ethical problems in using drones.

“Romantic nonsense. You can’t say that other forms of war are more just or less bloody. Drones are no better or worse than other weapons. The important thing is how they are used,” Hækkerup says.

Hækkerup says, however, that his idea of acquiring drones has not been discussed with the other parties in the Defence Agreement, and the Liberals have said they are not prepared to decide on drones.

“We still feel that Denmark should have fighter aircraft. So there’s no question of replacing all our fighters with drones,” says former defence minister Gitte Lillelund Bech.

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Edited by Julian Isherwood

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