Protest planned over military’s use of remotely-piloted drones

Published on 15 Sep 2021, 13:46
A protest is due to take place outside RAF Lossiemouth this weekend as campaigners call for a debate over the planned use of remotely-piloted drones by the UK military.

Test flights of the RAF’s new Protector aircraft, known as SkyGuardian, have been taking place out of the Moray base this week as part of Exercise Joint Warrior.

The RAF says the drone, which has a wingspan of 24 metres, is being flown to “demonstrate its capability in the maritime environment”.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced it is to purchase 16 of the aircraft, which are fitted with ultra-modern technology.

The drones could be equipped with missiles and bombs once fully operational.

They will be based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire when they enter service in 2024.

But protesters have raised safety concerns about how the exercises will impact on the local community. They have also called into question wider issues surrounding the new drones.

Tim Street from campaign group UK Drone Watch said: “There are several problems with the way in which armed drones are used.