Wednesday, September 06, 2006

UAV Development Draws Protests

Aberporth, Wales.
"Non-violent direct action" are planned for the site of a UK national UAV center.
The West Wales UAV Centre is a partnership of West Wales Airport and defense corporation QinetiQ for testing and coordinating unmanned and autonomous flying machines. The center is part of the national ASTRAEA (Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment) program with the goal of getting UAV's to routinely fly unrestricted in UK airspace. The Welsh Assembly Government has given its full backing to the programme and is providing approximately £3M (US$5.6M) over 3 years to help industry open up UK airspace for routine operation of UAVs.

The protests were called for at the monthly meeting of activist group Bro Emlyn for Peace and Justice. The reason for the demonstrations are to raise awareness of the nature of the work being done at parc Aberporth.

Harry Rogers of BEPJ is reported as saying, "This project is extremely worrying for we ordinary mortals living in west Wales as most of us only get to hear about the... trumpetings of new jobs and economic development opportunities, but nothing about what is actually being planned at Parc Aberporth.
To put it simply, what kind of jobs are they going to be and what will the products arising out of this industrial development be used for?"

This shows that not everyone is impressed by the recent innovations in unmanned warfare. To many, flying robots are just another weapon.

Peace Demo For Uav Sites (from Tivyside Advertiser)

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Blogger Bob Mottram said...

I'm not actually sure what they're objecting to here, other than general military spending. Are they objecting to aircraft not being manned?

We've already had flying robots for a long time, in the form of cruise missiles, SAMs, ICBMs, and other forms of guided missile/bomb. UAVs are really just a continuation of technology which began with V1 rockets during the second world war.

3:42 PM, September 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree bob, if you read the Astrea website its about developing UAV for civil applications (which is new and dead exciting if you ask me), I have heard that this Harry Rogers is an incomer to the Wales, and generally talks nonsense. His last gripe was about stopping polish people coming to work in Wales, who would wait on tables??? or clean our windows!!!

Military UAV have been around donkeys years as you say, but using UAV to help border controls, customs, police, farming, search and rescue the list just goes on and on.....

2:15 AM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Apple said...

I fly UAVs for the USAF (ond fi'n siarrad Cymraeg hefyd!). Wales should be excited and proud to be at the forefront of a huge growth industry.

10:59 PM, November 13, 2006  

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