Guardia Civil Unleashes High-Tech Sea Drones

Guardia Civil's New Weapon To Combat Smuggling

GLADIUS MINI S drone. Credit: GuardiaCivil.es

Is maritime smuggling about to meet its match? The Guardia Civil has recently unveiled a fleet of ten advanced underwater drones, set to significantly enhance their maritime surveillance capabilities.

On Thursday, November 23, in the bustling Port of Valencia, a significant technological advancement was showcased by the Guardia Civil. The introduction of the GLADIUS MINI S model drones, equipped with 4K UHD cameras, marks a turning point in the fight against maritime smuggling.

EU Funding Boosts Guardia Civil Capabilities

A substantial portion of the funding for these high-tech drones, precisely 80 per cent, was secured through the EUAF 2021 aid program (Union Anti-Fraud Programme) of the European Union’s OLAF, and the remaining 20 per cent ​​by the Civil Guard.

This financial support reflects the European Union’s commitment to fortifying its external borders against illegal activities.

Deploying Technology Against Smuggling

The state-of-the-art drones will be strategically distributed across various Fiscal and Border Units located in Valencia, Barcelona, Bilbao, Malaga, Vigo, Algeciras, Puerto de la Luz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Alicante, and Santander.

This widespread deployment underscores the Guardia Civil’s determination to combat smuggling activities that exploit concealed spaces on ships, both above and below the waterline.

A New Era Of Maritime Surveillance

The GLADIUS MINI S drones are not just tools for inspection, they represent a leap forward in maritime security. By conducting more thorough inspections on ship hulls, these drones complement the existing efforts of the Guardia Civil’s Fiscal and Border Analysis and Investigation Units (UDAIFF).

Furthermore, they enhance the capabilities of the Special Group for Underwater Activities (GEAS), who will intervene following drone reconnaissance.

The Guardia Civil’s acquisition of these underwater drones, partly funded by the European Union, demonstrates a proactive approach to securing maritime borders and protecting against the evolving tactics of criminal organizations.

This technological edge is a significant step forward in ensuring the safety and security of the European Union’s maritime borders.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

Comments


    • Thibaut Humbert

      28 November 2023 • 16:24

      It’s really a shame European funding is used to purchase Chinese technology, when the same exists in Europe.

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