Articles about watchkeeper

A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

Watchkeeper drones cost taxpayers ONE BEEELLION POUNDS

The British Army's notorious Thales Watchkeeper drones have cost the taxpayer a billion pounds over the past 12 years. The unmanned surveillance aircraft, operated by 47 Regiment, Royal Artillery, from West Wales Airport in Aberporth, have been struck by a series of faults, flaws and crew cockups resulting in a number of …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Nov 2017
A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

Two drones, two crashes in two months: MoD still won't say why

A damning Ministry of Defence report into the UK government department's safety oversight systems has revealed when two unmanned aerial vehicles crashed into the sea off Wales. The Watchkeeper WK450-series drone fleet, built and partially operated by French defence contractor Thales, has been marred by a number of crashes in …
A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

Yet more British military drones crash, this time into the Irish Sea

Another two Watchkeeper drones crashed in the last year, taking the number of Watchkeepers destroyed in crashes up to four. The two semi-autonomous aircraft, which mainly operate from West Wales Airport at Aberporth, reportedly crashed at some point during the last year, resulting in the 52-strong Watchkeeper fleet being …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Sep 2017
A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

Poor software design led to second £1m Army spy drone crash

An Army Watchkeeper drone flown by the Royal Artillery crashed on landing after its crew selected the self-flying craft’s “master override” function, according to the official report into the accident. Thales Watchkeeper drone WK006 flopped into the runway at Boscombe Down airfield in November 2015 when its two-man crew, …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Dec 2016
A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

£1m military drone crashed in Wales after crew disabled anti-crash systems – report

A £1m British Army Watchkeeper drone had to be scrapped after crashing at an airfield in Wales when the ex-RAF officer piloting it disabled the unmanned aerial vehicle's anti-crash systems. Although the official main cause of the accident was given as the automated Vehicle Management System Computer functioning “as designed …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Aug 2016
The Register breaking news

MoD plans 'name and shame' crackdown on crap projects

UK Defence secretary Liam Fox has pledged to crack down hard on poorly performing defence procurement projects, by "naming and shaming" them on a quarterly published list. Announcing the commencement of operations by the new Major Projects Review Board, which he will chair, Dr Fox said: "I want to send a clear message across …
Lewis Page, 15 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Blighty's expensive Watchkeeper spy-drone in further delays

The troubled, extremely expensive Watchkeeper project intended to supply unmanned surveillance aircraft to the Royal Artillery has hit further technical delays. The first robot spyplanes should have been delivered in February - eight months later than the original contract called for - but they will now arrive "toward year's end …
Lewis Page, 2 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

UK's Watchkeeper drone 'can see footprints through cloud'

Farnborough UK military robot spyplanes due to be fielded in Afghanistan within two years are fitted with radar so sensitive, according to its makers, that it can detect not only individual people moving about on the ground - but even the footprints they leave in the dirt. The Watchkeeper in Israel, where most of the tests thus far have …
Lewis Page, 20 Jul 2010
The Register breaking news

Blighty's first home grown war robot takes to Welsh skies!

The UK tentacle of French arms giant Thales is delighted today to announce that its new "Watchkeeper" drone aircraft for the British Army has made its first flight in UK airspace. The machine first flew in 2008, above Israel, where the Hermes 450 it is based on is made. The Watchkeeper makes its first UK flight. credit: Thales …
Lewis Page, 15 Apr 2010
The Register breaking news

UK's Watchkeeper drone in first autonomous flight

The British Army's new Watchkeeper robotic surveillance aircraft has made its first autonomous test flight, carrying out a full mission without remote piloting. The tests took place in Israel, at a facility operated by Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit. Watchkeeper is being made jointly by Thales UK, the British arm of the …
Lewis Page, 26 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

MoD proposes Salisbury Plain spy-plane droid playground

The UK Ministry of Defence wants to expand the airspace it uses for training flying-robot surveillance operators from the British Army. Drone aircraft formerly flew mainly above traditional army exercise areas on Salisbury Plain, but next-gen kit will need to be higher up and further away from the ground action if training is to …
Lewis Page, 17 Jun 2008
The Register breaking news

UK Reaper drone wrecked in Afghanistan

A Reaper unmanned combat aircraft has crashed in Afghanistan. According to reports, restricted technology aboard the wrecked roboplane was salvaged by British special forces and the remains were then destroyed by a bomb from a manned jet. The Sun reported yesterday that "a £50m British spy plane" had been "blown to bits" after …
Lewis Page, 23 Apr 2008

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