The event, an exhibition and flying display of UAV’s,was to be the focus of a number of protests by Welsh campaigners who have been meeting over the past few weeks to organise demonstrations. Now however the organisers have announced that “due to circumstances beyond their control” the event is to be cancelled. Although the organisers say they hope to put on an event in the future, let’s hope Pause has been put on hold for good.
P.S. I have updated the the drone crash database today with news of yet more drone crashes in Pakistan, Yemen and Turkey.
News of the progress (or rather lack of it) on the UK’s Watchkeeper drone programme has emerged over the last few days. Due to enter service in February 2010, delayed to Spring 2011, the latest information according to Flight International, is that it will not be deployed in Afghanistan “before the end of the year” due to, as Thales executives helpful put it “technical difficulties.”
Watchkeeper is being built under a £900m MoD contract (the latest NAO report shows that £625m has already been spent on the project !) by a joint British–Israeli venture company (U-TacS) owned by Thales UK and Elbit Systems. It is based on the Israeli Hermes 450 drone which the UK is currently renting in an innovate ‘pay by the hour’ operation for use in Afghanistan. Watchkeeper will (eventually) replace the Hermes in Afghanistan.