Swedish military will use drones in Mali

1:26 min

Swedish forces in Mali will be using drones in their mission in Mali, where they contribute intelligence work in the fight against armed groups including Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists.

Jakob Wahlskog, who is soon off to Mali, spoke to Swedish Radio's science programme from a base in Karlsborg.

He says they will control the drones with a small joystick, looking at a screen. The movable control station is basically in a container unit.

He says that in Afghanistan it was possible to see roadside bombs from the air. He cannot go into details of what they will do in Mali, but says his unit's aim is to save lives in the UN force (MINUSMA).

Combat will not be the Swedes' primary mission, and the drones will not be armed, unlike the US Predator drones that have killed thousands in Pakistan, including many civilians.

But there is Swedish work on making lethal drones.

Sweden's Saab, and the Swedish military, are developing what has been called the world's most advanced attack drone: the Neuron. It is part of an EU-wide project. This is a machine that can carry heavy weapons, says Swedish Radio's science programme. The full details of this Swedish-French project aren't fully known

But the military say there are no plans for Swedish forces to themselves use armed drones.