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MND: Polish law is no obstacle to the purchase of drones

The Ministry of National Defence has announced its plans to purchase unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs, also known as “drones”) to be used by an independent combat unit. The MND stresses that its intention is to properly adapt the military potential of the Polish army to the type and scale of today’s security threats.

“The current legal regulations govern the application of manned and unmanned aircrafts and we see no legal impediment to the use of unmanned strike aircrafts”, reads the response of the MND.

In August, the HFHR approached the Ministry with a question regarding the Ministry’s plans to purchase drones. In its address the Foundation indicated that in practice, drones were used by the US military to perform so-called targeted killings, or the physical elimination of individuals involved in activities of terrorist groups or even merely suspected of such an involvement. This raises substantial controversy among human rights activists and international law experts. Also, drone air strikes were criticised by UN spokespersons. This issue was brought up by the HFHR in its address to the Ministry (for more information, use this link).

The MND argued in its response that drones planned for purchase would be used to strike hostile military formations. Unmanned aircrafts will be able to make precise strikes on previously confirmed and identified targets in the hostile formation as well as targets confirmed and identified during an ongoing reconnaissance mission.

The MND stated that prior to the introduction of drones into the Polish Armed Forces the personnel of aircrafts would undergo extensive training and that all issues related to their operational use would be properly analysed.

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