An article in the Ottawa Citizen, repeating information from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, showed that some members of the Australian military are highly critical of the training received on Heron drones, rented through Macdonald Dettwiler, a Canadian company.
Australian Wing Commander Jonathan McMullan complained about ‘low experience civilians’ training highly experienced pilots.
The article did not make explicityly clear who provided the trainers. Macdonald Dettwiler, a Canadian company, provided the Heron drones to the Canadian and Australian military for use in Afghanistan, as an agent for Israeli Aerospace Industries, the manufacturer.
This article states that Macdonald Dettwiler Associates has a training contract with the Australian military, so perhaps we can guess that it is MDA that the Australian officer is complaining about.
The current contract between MDA and the Australian military to provide drones and training appears to end in December 2012. Three Heron drones rented from MDA had flown a total of 4600 flight hours by May, 2011. This extensive. A June 8, 2012 article from ABC online provides a wealth of details about Australia’s use of drones.
While Israel is not directly involved in the Afghanistan occupation, Israeli arms companies have provided weapons and trainers, including a range of drones to a variety of countries.