NewsLocalBritish military drone crashes during Cyprus training flight

British military drone crashes during Cyprus training flight

A UK military drone, of the type now being used to monitor the Channel for migrant crossings, crashed during a practice in Cyprus, Philenews reported on Tuesday.

An army spokesperson at Akrotiri base was reported saying: “We can confirm that on 14 October 2020, during routine flying training, there was an incident involving a Watchkeeper at Akrotiri in Cyprus, resulting in some damage to the aircraft.

“A full investigation is underway and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

No personnel were harmed as a result of the incident and the army, which has responsibility for the drone, has said it will comply fully with any investigation into the incident.

A few days ago, the UK’s Observer wrote that the £1bn Watchkeeper drone programme has been plagued with problems during its development.

And that between 2014 and 2018 there have been at least five recorded crashes, and there are claims the drone is unable to fly in poor weather conditions.

Originally purchased for use in the war in Afghanistan and fitted with a range of intelligence and reconnaissance cameras, the unmanned aircraft system has been used by the UK Border Force to patrol the Channel since September under Operation Devran.

During October, it flew only six sorties in support of the Border Force, totalling 23 hours and 54 minutes in the air.

No personnel were harmed as a result of the incident and the army, which has responsibility for the drone, has said it will comply fully with any investigation into the incident.

 

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