Watchkeeper no benign surveillance vehicle.

The Watchkeeper drone is no benign surveillance vehicle.

It can fly up to 20,000 feet, unheard from the ground, with high resolution video capability. It has radar that makes it able to see through cloud cover, and monitor vehicles 20 kilometres away.

Although the UK Watchkeepers will initially not be armed, the drone is an integral part of the killing system of the UK forces, able to locate and designate targets for destruction by other forces or weapons.

“We need more technical equipment to have 24/7 surveillance and the ability to target these people and kill them, if necessary, when they are laying these devices,” Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, the outgoing head of the British Army, said in the London Daily Telegraph and other publications.” Source

MOD is considering arming Watchkeeper.

“A top British defense official revealed in November that the U.K. is considering arming the aircraft. ”We are currently conducting analysis to investigate the contribution that an armed Watchkeeper UAV system could make in current and future operations as part of its routine capability planning process,” said Ann Taylor, minister for international defense and security, under questioning from Lord Lewis Moonie, former junior minister for science and technology in the Ministry of Defence.

In a later statement, the MoD said: “We are still at an early stage of considering the benefits to current and future operations of arming Watchkeeper, and so as yet no decisions regarding which munitions should be used have been made.”Source

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