MONDAY, 6 JANUARY
Curaçao will have access to a Dutch unmanned aircraft in the coming months to address a wave of raids. The Ministry of Defense is sending the “Raven” at the request of the Justice department on the island.The drone weighs a little over 4.4 pounds and is equipped with a camera. The device must detect and track robbers.
The number of robberies has increased, according to the Public Prosecution Service of Curaçao. The crime rate peaks every year between December and March, when the island is busier due to holidays such as New Year and Carnival.
Curaçao requested the drone to prevent the crime rate from spiking again. The Dutch Ministry of Defense also sent people to operate the drone. The “Raven” will be used until at least late March, after which an evaluation will need to show whether the “mission” will need to be extended.
The island has been struggling with a rising crime rate. Late last year Minister of Justice, Navarro, announced he wanted to enlist the help of the Netherlands more frequently.
Fear for Espionage
The Venezuelan authorities asked for an explanation, because the Raven can also be used for espionage purposes. According to a spokesman of the Public Prosecution Service, the Military is operating the drones and that the Public Prosecution Service remains responsible for the operation. For example, there are strict rules on use. The drone is not allowed to fly outside the territorial waters of Curacao. The Netherlands will be assisting Curaçao for three months, followed by an evaluation.
Raven Technical Specs
With all probability we are talking about the Raven RQ-11B from the company AeroVironment.
The RQ-11 Raven is a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (or SUAV) developed for the U.S. military, but now adopted by the military forces of many other countries. The RQ-11 Raven was originally introduced as the FQM-151 in 1999, but in 2002 developed into its current form, resembling an enlarged FAI class F1C free flight model aircraft in general appearance. The craft is launched by hand and powered by a pusher configuration electric motor. The plane can fly up to 6.2 miles (10.0 km) at altitudes of appx 500 feet (150 m) above ground level (AGL), and over 15,000 feet (4,600 m) above mean sea level (MSL), at flying speeds of 28-60 mph (45–97 km/h).
Who uses the Raven
Countries known to already be operating the Raven are: Austria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Iraq, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon (12 systems), Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States (5000 systems), Pakistan, Uganda, and Yemen.