Eighteen peace protesters picketed the factory producing key parts of the Watchkeeper drone, in Leicester, UK, on May 2. The protesters called for the drone factory to be converted to more ‘socially useful’ purposes.
The Watchkeeper drone, based on the Israeli designed Hermes 450 has been under production for several years and is now many months overdue for deployment. (see earlier posts in this blog) The drone, which was touted as essential for the British forces occupying Afghanistan, will likely never be deployed there. Ministry of War officials for the UK government claim that the reason for Watchkeeper delays is the need to make the drones meet civilian air worthiness standards.
Drones crash at an alarming rate, and there are serious difficulties flying them in civilian air space without an on board pilot.