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Cyprus perceptions and concerns about UAVs utilization in National Guard
Stelios Nikolaou
Communication Department
Cyprus, Nicosia Abstract- In today's age of modern technology, the trend for even larger and broader use of unmanned air vehicles is evident, especially in the military sector. These modern designed aircrafts, autonomously or remote controlled, have already shown that they will play an important role in the future global environment. The research process which is used for describing methodology was grounded theory, with structure elicitation technique. Qualitative data were collected by a questionnaire, which referred to a number of
16 people who have Cypriot citizenship. This research, answered in questions such as: should Cyprus participate with drone procurement? Furthermore, what will be the reactions and concerns of civilians when they inform about the existence of this advanced program in National Guard and that can be used as a weapon? The existing army equipment is modern or obsolete? Must National Guard upgrade the existing weapons and communication equipment? Evaluating the results of the questionnaire it can be said that the majority of the participants believe that the current military equipment is not appropriate or high advanced and it needs to be upgraded with weapons and communication systems. Most of the participants supported the idea of introducing UAVs in the Cyprus army.
Additionally, the participants did not express major concerns about drone procurement except from the need of compliance between UAVs utilization and human rights
(illegal surveillance from the sky).

Keywords- drones; use of drones in army; military drone; drones perceptions; drones science; policies; types of drones;
In most, if not all developed countries of the planet, the use of drones is extensive and their missions as it cite in the research paper are multiple. Drones constitute the spearhead of US military forces and military operations.
DARBA announcement, mentions the creation of an army air carrier responsible for releasing hundreds of unmanned air vehicles within the battlefield.
A drone, better known as remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned air vehicle is actually an advanced system.
The operations of these systems manage by a remote controller which in reality is a pilot with its team in a ground control station (GcS). Depending of the type, drones can operate autonomously and make decisions

according to their target that focused on. UAV utilization focuses mainly in the military sector. The difference between drones from a simple missile is that it is recoverable and can be reused.
There is a huge variety of unmanned air vehicles regarding their shape, size, characteristics and functions.
Drones can be controlled from a long distance location which can be many kilometers far away from the plane, or it can fly autonomously according to the scheduled flight plans, using independent, complex and dynamical system. In addition to this, as we will see below, UAV do not have only military capabilities such as recognition and espionage but can be used in peacetime for other missions as forest firefighting and traffic monitoring.
On the other hand, the real struggle is the evolution of possibilities for modern battlefields where soldiers must not have fit abs or carry heavy individual weapons.
Modern soldiers are going to waging war from a room with a monitor and a joystick.
Due the above, and having in mind that the Turkish occupation forces have already supplied the relevant hostile program, a question arises whether Cyprus should participate in UAV procurement. Additionally, what will be the reactions and concerns of citizens when they find out that National Guard will be equipped with this advanced system that can be used as a weapon? What is the believing of Cyprus citizens about the need of new army equipment and what is their opinion about the existing equipment. Is it modern or obsolete? Will
National Guard manage the maximum possibilities of this modern and high advanced weapon system? These questions answered through the given questionnaires. But let’s take things from the beginning.

The modern operational environment of the 21st century brought forth new techniques and state of the art technologies which serve both efficiency and accuracy in battlefield. Part of this rapid development is UAVs, a

modern technology with a view to use ‘objects’ in order to fulfil missions without the physical presence of human being. This innovative idea originated in World War II, from General Arnold, a top commander in the US Air
Force who developed a new way to attach U-boat stations and other heavily fortified enemy positions: he turned old
B-17 and B-24 bombers into remotely operated aircrafts and loaded them with explosives. The missions were not satisfactory effective, they had a poor background, but that, did not prevent Arnold from manifesting in 1945 that “the next war may be fought by airplanes with no men inside them”. Approximately seventy years later,
Arnold vision is slowly being materialized: unmanned air vehicles, called drones, commence to rule the skies. [2]

UAVs are categorized according to their operational missions and their control range. Pursuantly to their purpose are divided into Tactical UAV (TUAV) and
Combat UAV (CUAV). TAUVs are divided further to tactical reconnaissance, electronic warfare, collection of military information and observation of artillery rockets.
On the opposite side, CUAVs are used to destroy missions of enemy infrastructure air defenses best known as SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) missions.
As for their control range they are divided into UAV typical character (low range drones) and they are limited to a radius of 50 km, short range with a range until 200 km and long-range drones which their strikes’ attempts carry out in distances greater than 200 km.[6]

But actually, what is a drone? Drones as we mentioned before, are better known as unmanned air vehicles (UAV).
Practically, drones are flying robots. Aircrafts which can be remotely controlled or can fly autonomously through software – controlled flight plans in their embedded systems working in conjunction with GPS. All these characteristics of drones are enabled by the combination of networking, robotics and artificial intelligence [3].
Drones come in a variety of shapes and sizes with varying abilities and configurations. Their size depends mainly on their mission, for example military drones are usually relatively large aircrafts, however, there are other drones that might be very small with rotor based control system. Many of the rotor based systems use four rotors in a quadcopter modulation, allowing for great motility, speed and nimbleness in the sky. Quadcopters are a favorite of hobbyist drones operators, as they often have sufficient power and control which are able to carry a camera and take high definition images while they flight.
Other drones are much smaller, almost tiny, sitting on the operator’s fingers prior to lift off. Another example of using drones except hobbyists, are companies like
Amazon, Google and Facebook which are investing huge funds in drones’ technologies. Their objective is the development for a diversity of tasks, including the distribution of retail goods to consumers, the creation of sky – based modernized networks and even crop dusting in the agricultural community [4]. Moreover, drones are used for rescue, search or surveillance, traffic observation, weather monitoring and firefighting among other things but, as we are going to see the most widespread utilization of drones are financed and associated from
Ministries of Defense and military organizations to transact military operations.[5]

The acceptance of using military drones came from the creation of a particular moral hazard by keeping pilots away from dangers as we foretold. Because the cost of launching deadly strikes with UAV are lower than with a piloted aircraft, civilian officials are more willing to authorize them. In addition to this, beyond reducing the risks to pilots, drones offer other attractive benefits. They can hover over a target for hours without refueling.
Because of this, armed drones can attach missiles to a surveillance platform so they obtain an unmatched responsiveness when a time sensitive target appears.
Moreover, drones can detect when noncombatants enter the blast radius, enabling abortion of operation fired to the last moment in order to avoid civilian casualties. [7]

The most pretentious and technologically sophisticated unmanned aircrafts are military drones. UAV of this type are often fixed wing aircraft, with the ability to carry heavy payloads. Payloads may include rockets, missiles and a lot of other weapons, as well as contemporary, mannered surveillance technologies. With name like
“Predator” and “Reaper”, drones can be found nowadays in the skies in a number of foreign countries. Military

Nevertheless, using of drones, especially for military operations lurks many dangers. They might lower the threshold for the use of forces but they do not eliminate it altogether. Some countries do not show their drones because they are not involved in major international conflicts that would justify their development. Moreover, drone’s technology is also more complex that it appears.
Advanced drones require far more than a pilot in ground control station to make them effective at a long distance missions. The need of sophisticated communications, access to satellite bandwidth and complex system engineering – all these assents show that the development of drones is for the time being beyond the reach of most governments. Another explanation of the slow spread of drones is diplomatic. Conducting drones strikes in foreign countries requires bilateral relations that are good enough to get the ‘hot’ actions over flight rights. Defense budget is another major factor. Drones costs are still prohibitive at a time when austerity dominates military spending decisions in most countries. [2] [8]
A final factor that must concern officials who accept the utilization of drone’s military operations is ‘blowback’, the most prominent critique today. Blowback comprises bad consequences of drones that swamp the benefits of drone warfare its self. The anger of villagers whose civilian relatives have been killed, for instance, or the resentment among large populations over drone strikes.

The anger is fanned by local media, global web communities and local political party leaders. This leads to reticulation and membership recruitment where the strikes take place or to independently organized violence.
All this bad public perception outweighs whatever tactical value drone strikes may have. Blowback can never be dismissed. It’s a problem which officials have to localize the solution because this matter juxtaposed with the benefits of the drone strikes themselves. By definition, blowback is a second order effort and its diffuse nature makes its existence more a matter of subjective judgment than any other evaluation of drone warfare. [9]
Until today there are no essential rules of engagement on flight with drones except from sparsely drone’s negligible restrictions such as the maximum airspeed at 100 mph and maximum altitude not beyond 500 feet above ground level. The armed forces have no specific provisions about regulations on flight and engagement to refer to these systems. Probably the gap that appears in legislation is outweighed by their respective UAV rules of engagement which already exist in the case of unmanned missiles.
Ultimately however, they should be distinguished since drones are not just offensive weapons but they can also be used for espionage. [10]
As we see, using military drones has lots of advantages and disadvantages as well. But, what makes drone warfare strategically effective? Is drone technology and target killing strategically valuable in that grade that officials overlooked drones’ disadvantages? In conjunction with high quality intelligence, drone warfare offers an unparalleled means to strike directly at terrorist organizations without the need of a conventional or counterinsurgency approach to reach terrorist groups in their safe hideouts. It offers an offensive capability, rather than simply defensive measures, such as homeland security alone. [11] Drone warfare offers a raiding strategy directly against the terrorists and their leadership.
It makes the planning and execution of complex terrorist actions difficult, not only because it is hard to plan for years but also due the uncertainness that at any time, at any day, without any prior notification you might be struck down by a drone. The unpredictability and terrifying provision of sudden attack has reduced terrorist organizational effectiveness. [5]
Foreign armies intend to capitalize on drones capabilities to improve warfighter effectiveness with less risk. The
American vision about UAV is to employ drones across the operational environment, across functional areas and across spectrum of operations as a key force multiplier.
Principally, drones extend army capabilities in command and control, lethality and transport. As the army fields progress they are enriched with communications networks, so drones employ battles command systems and modernize combat formations. To that extend drones’ capabilities will manifest astoundingly in the future. In

the mid-term, drones will conduct the large majority of surveillance and C3 (Command, Control, and
Communication) missions and approximately half of the attack and armed reconnaissance missions. In the far-term drone will conduct nearly all of the surveillance and C3 roles. [11] [12]
Before that, army’s officials’ primary concern is the need to address three critical issues in order to supplant the
COA (Certificate of Authorization) process, UAV reliability, FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations and SAA (Surface to Air missile) capability.
FAA is engaged in establishing the air traffic regulatory infrastructure for integrating military UAV into the NAS
(Naval Air Station). By limiting this effort’s focus to traffic management of domestic flight operations by military drone, the view is to establish a solid perception that extend to other public and civil drone domestically and to civil and military flights in global airspace. This initiative serves as the first trick in the large wall of regulations governing worldwide aviation. [5] [6]
Escaping from international level and ending to our homeland, the major concern of National Guard is the hostile UAV called Harby, since Turkey already dominates it into the Turkish armory. Harby is integrated, auto remote passive suppression active system radar. It combines autonomy with the ability to identify and destroy radar antenna system. It has the ability of multiple attacks in the event of a shut down and finally
Harby is not capable of communicating with the ground control station after launch. As a conclusion, operational mission must be prevented before it even starts. This can happen only after the destruction of launcher systems. If this is not possible, the next step is the interaction of communication with the ground control station. This can be achieved with interference as well as using a friendly drone whose mission is the deterrence and destruction of the enemies. [12]
In modern age of technology, there is an increase of trend for greater and broader action of UAVs, especially in the military sector. The wide and rapid technological development of automated air technology systems show that drones is the new rising military tension of the nearest future. But, what about the future reserve to humanity? Already, Strategic Unmanned Bombers with the ability to carry even nuclear weapons are developed.
The Republic of Cyprus, within the National Guard armament upgrade, after many years of stagnation, in what grade is liable for the purchase and subsequent use of these high level modernize technological systems; In the possibility of implementation of those programs, the
National Guard will exploit the full potential of the systems; In addition to this, civilians of Cyprus Republic, in this strict economic austerity, are they prepare for understanding this innovative market armaments program;
And if so, what would be their opinion about the relation

of the potential use of UAVs as weapons systems;
Certainly, an important role of the whole process is the inform of respondents about the already existing corresponding UAV Turkish system.

With regards to their age and studies, 6% of the participants were between 18 – 24, 82% between 25 – 44,
6% between 45 – 64 and 6% 65 and over. The great majority of the participants were between 25 – 44 years old. From these participants 19% finish High School,
56% graduated University and 25% have MSc/PhD.


Participants’ educational qualifications are presented in
Table 1.

The research process which used for describing methodology is grounded theory, with structure elicitation technique. Qualitative data collected by a questionnaire, which referred to a number of 16 people who have Cypriot citizenship, they work in National
Guard ( irrespective of sex and marital status) or they are male and they have fulfill their military obligations, they are Orthodox Christians (not heretics) and they have completed the 18 year of their age. In addition, the level of education as well as their economic situation wasn’t accounted. The respondents remain anonymous and have two weeks’ time limit to complete the specific questionnaire. The questionnaire consists of open and closed questions as well as descriptive. Questionnaire is consists 20 questions.
The choice of this particular research method was because questionnaires cost much cheaper compared to other methods of data collection, they can be sent to a large number of participants, they are relatively easy written and use, respondents expressed more freely due the lack of direct communication with the investigator, the investigator cannot affect participants' responses and finally is less time-consuming process. In contrast, the disadvantages of applied the questionnaire method is that the researcher in some cases maybe not clarify openclosed and descriptive questions and finally there is a possibility to obligate the participate answer in a certain way which does not want.

Table 1
Educational qualifications
High school
(BSc, BA)
Postgraduate studies
(MSc / PhD)





B. Significance and development of the army
Three questions required participants to report their beliefs and knowledge about the significance and the current development needs of the army in Cyprus.
The great majority of the participants reported that the existence of the army in Cyprus is extremely important.
The percentages of the participants’ replies in the question: “Is the existence significant of National Guard in our occupied island?” are presented in Figure 1.

The results are presented in three strands. The first strand is related to the background variables (demographics) that were used in the present study. The second strand presents the significance, status, and development of
National Guard and the third strand presents the knowledge, beliefs, and concerns of the participants regarding the use of UAVs in Cyprus army.
A. Demographics
Sixteen people participated in the study. 80% of the participants were males, and 20% were females. Of these people, 31% live in Nicosia, 13% live in Limassol, 44% live in Larnaka, 6% live in Pafos and finally 6% live in

Figure 1. Participants’ view on the significance of the army in Cyprus.
Moreover, the majority of the participants support that
National Guard has to supply with new weapons and communications systems. The percentages of the participants’ replies in the question: “National Guard has

to upgrade weapons and communication systems?” are presented in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Participants’ opinions about upgrade National
Guard weapons and communication systems.
The last question of the second strand shows us the familiarity - knowledge of Cyprus citizen with UAVs.
The percentages of the participants’ replies in the question: “On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being Knowledge and 5 being expert knowledge, please rate your familiarity with
Unmanned Air Vehicles?” are presented in Figure 3.

UAV equipped with 5
5 weapon systems
UAV for surveillance 1
8 missions (e.g., terrorist)
UAVs as 1
8 countermeasure for detection and neutralization of enemy
UAV utilization in 1
8 military missions, the percentage of soldiers death will greatly reduced
monitoring 1
Monitoring of marine's 0
7 executive economic zone.
Green line monitoring and 0
9 controlling (reduce illegal activities) Rescue missions
Military surveillance.
Execution enemy targets 2
8 with UAV weapons
* 1: you have much insecurity about acceptance, 5: being fully secure
Most of the participants as we conclude from Table 2 don’t resist on UAVs utilization by National Guard in relation to the mentioned categories of use. The only double minded observed in subquery 1 about drone’s equipment with weapon systems where 31% of the participants refer that they have a lot of insecurities about embodiment of UAVs with weapons systems.

Figure 3. Participants’ familiarity and knowledge about

Knowledge, beliefs, and concerns regarding the use of UAV in Cyprus army

Two questions divided in 10 subqueries required participants to report in a scale 1 to 5, (1 you have much insecurity about acceptance and being fully secure), their opinion about the utilization of UAVs.
Participants’ opinions about UAVs utilization are presented in Table 2.
Table 2
UAVs utilization by National Guard

The present study explored the use of the drones in
National Guard. Specifically, the research explored the perceptions and concerns of Cyprus citizens for the use of
UAVs in the Cyprus army and beyond.
The results of the study revealed that the majority of the participants believe that the current status of the army is not appropriate or well developed and needs to be upgrade with weapons and communication systems. Most of the participants supported the idea of introducing
UAVs in Cyprus army and did not express major concerns. In addition to this, according to the descriptive questions of the questionnaire refer to their concerns about UAVs utilization the participants express the concern of using drone only by National Guard and not from other government services such as police or secret services and clearly use of this advanced, modernized system only for military operations - missions such as surveillance, detection and neutralization of enemy
UAVs as a result of reducing the percentage of soldier

deaths. In addition to this, the majority of the participants express them positivity of using drones for woodland, marine executive economic zone and green line monitoring or rescue missions. A small percentage of the participants express the need of continuous and fully specialized education to the military personnel that are going to baptized operators of the system and the compliance with citizens’ human rights (respect of private rights). A very low rate of the participants commented the procurement of unmanned air vehicles in relation to the cost of this system, meaning that with these current events, according economic crisis and the
Cyprus problem, if Cyprus government and Turkish community end in a solution and they decide that
National Guard has to be disbanded, this system is going to be given in other services or is going to withdraw disregarding for injustice funds of the UAVs procurement?
As we all know, in global level, most of the developed countries of the planet, use drones extensively, especially in military operations. This research paper answers questions such as the use of drones in Cyprus army, whether Cyprus could use this advanced and modernized system and what will be the civilians’ reactions when they find out that drones can be used as guns for military operations? According to the research questionnaire, this paper initial purpose was to export strongly conclusion about UAVs utilization in National Guard and the citizen reactions about the procurement of this specialized weapon system.
The research process used for describing the methodology is the grounded theory, with structure elicitation technique. Qualitative data were collected by a questionnaire, which referred to a number of 16 people who have Cypriot citizenship. Evaluating the results of the questionnaire, save and fully documented conclusions which give the ability of generalize the opinions to a wider population and reach to a population parameter which was the finally intended result, cannot be export.
As a general conclusion, the results of the paper show that Cypriot civilians do not have any major concerns about drone procurement and utilization from the
National Guard. The great majority of participants believe that the developed countries of the world use
UAVs for terrorist surveillance or other military operations even if they don’t admit it as indicated in ebook; “Drones the sky’s limit – is it?” written by Mildred
V. Jones [2]. Furthermore, they agree with the facts that
Cyprus army uses obsolete weapons and communication systems and this equipment must be upgraded.
Additionally, the most considerable obstacle for the implementation of this process is the economic crisis [7] which obsess our homeland as correctly included in

Salem Press Encyclopedia “Drone Warfare”, written by
Robert N. Stacy. The majority of the participants support the use of drones especially by National Guard strictly for military operations and not from other government services. Refer to their concerns they express the need of compliance with the use of drones according to their human rights (illegal surveillance from the sky) and participants opinions divided about drones equipment with weapon systems to terminate programmed targets.
For future work, about the objective of this research paper and to end in concrete and reliable results – conclusions, future studies have to focus the questionnaire only in army officers and noncommissioned officers due to the fact that most of the civilians do not have in mind the current equipment of
Turkish armory. Furthermore, civilians have no expertise on National Guard weapons and communications systems having a lack of any specialization in the military sphere.
Finally, the questionnaire must have the feature of an interview, rather completed online because a respectable percentage of the participants did not take the questionnaire seriously due to the fact that they remain anonymous having a less care for the given answers or the probable mistaken conclusions that are going to be export from their opinions - answers. Furthermore, the number of the participants seriously certainly must be seriously increased, in order to have the capability of exporting safe and reliable conclusions about the general population which would mirror reality.
T. Oikonomou, “Ο πόλεμος των μη επανδρωμένων αεροσκαφών,” Η Καθημερινή. [Online],
Available: smos/o-polemos-twn-mh-epandrwmenwn-aeroskafwn. [Accessed Nov. 22, 2014].
Mildred V. Jones. “Drones the sky’s limit – is it?”. [on- line]. 74(1), p28 -32, 5p. Available: [Sep 2014].
Ivy. Wigmore. “Personel Drone”. Available: [Accessed: Dec 2013] .
Richard L. Dolesh. “Drones Are Coming”. [Online]. 50. (3). Available: [Mar
Anderson, Kenneth, “ The Case of Drones”.
American University, WLC Research Paper. Vol. 135, no.
6, pp-14 – 23, June, 2013. [online serial]. Available: [Accessed: Oct 24, 2013

Martin E. Dempsey. “ U.S. Army UAS

Kelsey D. Atherton. “ What you need to Know about the FAA’s new drone rules”. Available: [Accessed: Feb 17, 2015].

Robert N.Stacy. “ Drone Warfare”, in Salem

Ouidiv.Gelu.Tirian. “Drone for military applications”. [on-line]. 12(4), p 239-241, 3p. Available: [2014].

Michael. Stokes. Polsen. “Drone On: The command in chief power to target and kill American”.
38(1), p43-61. 19p.
Available: [Winter 2015].

Sarah. Kreps. “ Then next Drone Wars”. [online].
Available: [Mar/Apr 2014].

Faisal. Kutty. “ The Drone ‘Blowback’”.
Available: [Accessed: Jul 18, 2014].

[Online].Available: [Accessed: Apr 18, 2015].

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