Approval has been given for the Army s own pilots to begin live-flying the unarmed Watchkeeper from Boscombe Down in Wiltshire; up until now it has been only been trialled by industry. Gathering crucial information from the battlefield, Watchkeeper will provide UK troops with life-saving surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence. It will also give personnel on the ground much greater situational awareness, helping to reduce threats.
Over the coming weeks, highly skilled 1st Artillery Brigade pilots will be trained to fly Watchkeeper in a restricted airspace over the Salisbury Plain Training Area. The flights, which will take place between 8,000 and 16,000 feet, will be overseen by military air traffic controllers. The British Army’s Watchkeeper unmanned aerial system in flight over the UK during testing (library image) Picture: Richard Seymour, Thales UK Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: Watchkeeper will provide real-time information for troops conducting operations on the ground, allowing them to understand better and thereby overcome threats they may face.
The release to service is a major milestone in this important programme. Watchkeeper is the first unmanned aerial system developed and built in the UK to become operational. Watchkeeper will be a significant surveillance and reconnaissance capability for the Army for years to come and there is no doubt that it will prove to be a battle-winning technology.
Since its first UK flight in 2010 by Thales UK, Watchkeeper, which has a wingspan of 35 feet, has already completed over 600 flying hours from West Wales Airport.
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Army cleared to fly next-generation eye-in-the-sky
Remember our fallen: Focus on Indian British Army role in Blackburn 3:31pm Monday 3rd March 2014 in News 1 TWO events in Blackburn with Darwen will highlight the contribution of the Indian British Army in the First and Second World Wars. Shared Histories will give residents an opport-unity to learn about the role of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu soldiers in the two conflicts. It is an entertaining educational programme which looks at the role played by the ancestors of Britain s African, Caribb-ean, Bengali, Indian and Pakistani communities during the world wars.
Including a high-resolution slideshow, arch-ive film footage, de-act- ivated weapons, ordnance and uniforms, the event will seek to recreate the hardship, bravery and suffering of soldiers in a classroom setting. The first event takes place on Thursday at Blackburn Central High School, while the second, on March 12, is at Darwen Aldridge Community Aca-demy. Council neighbourhoods boss Arshid Mahmood said: This is a fantastic event which provides an opportunity for residents to learn about those who served in the British Indian Army during both world wars, the part that they played and the conditions they had to endure.
Coming together as a community to take part in such an event is really important, and I urge as many as possible to take part. Borough armed forces champion Trevor Maxfield said: In the year of the anniversary of World War One, this type of event, which gives the opportunity to really get an impression of what it was like to be involved in this conflict, gives us an opportunity to remember what was sacrificed. I hope as many as possible attend this and other events during this centenary year, to learn more about what it was really like to be part of such a terrible conflict, and to make sure it is remembered for years to come.
Both events have registration and refresh-ments at 5.30pm, with a 6pm start. They are part of borough commemorations of the outbreak of the First Word War. The sessions are free but registration is essential for catering.
To register, contact Amanda Grimshaw on 01254 222154 or Amanda.
[email protected] References ^ News (www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk)
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Remember our fallen: Focus on Indian British Army role in Blackburn …