UK military drone crashed in Cyprus

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A UK military drone crashed during a practice run over Cyprus in October, according to the Observer newspaper.
Originally purchased for the war in Afghanistan and fitted with intelligence and reconnaissance cameras, the unmanned aircraft system is used by the UK Border Force to patrol the Channel since under Operation Devran.
But according to watchdog group Drone Wars UK, the highly publicised operation has little practical value.
Freedom-of-information requests submitted by the group confirmed the Cyprus crash.
It is understood that the crash at RAF Akrotiri had no connection to the recent deployment of Watchkeeper in the Channel.
An army spokesperson said: “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 is responsible for the drone, has said it will comply fully with any investigation into the incident.
“The use of military-grade drones at borders is the beginning of the use of drones that blur the boundaries between military and domestic policing,” said Chris Cole, director of Drone Wars UK.
“As the concept of border security extends from the border and intrudes further into everyday life, the rights implications will begin to swiftly move beyond migrants and impact all of us.”
Dan O’Mahoney, clandestine Channel threat commander with the UK Border Force, defended the use of Watchkeeper.
“We are determined to put a stop to illegally facilitated small boat Channel crossings, which are both dangerous and unnecessary.
The army’s website argues that the Watchkeeper system has undergone rigorous flight testing and is certified to operate safely in UK airspace.
Drone Wars’ new report charts the increasingly widespread use of drones by governments around the world, which it said raises legal, ethical, and moral questions about how military technology is being used in civilian society.
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.