The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is expected to buy two drones for the G8 summit in County Fermanagh in June, it emerged tonight.
The aircraft can relay live pictures from high quality cameras and are flown by operators remotely.
They could cost around €1.2m, it was reported.
World leaders like US President Barack Obama are expected to attend this summer's economic gathering, and a massive security operation is planned at the luxury Lough Erne golf resort which will host the conference.
The PSNI has told the Policing Board it wants to buy the drones for use during the G8 summit and afterwards to combat terrorism and crime, the BBC said.
The Board has to be briefed in advance about any planned purchase or deployment and that briefing will take place next week.