The British military are to spend £650 million on drones to stop the Russians from making any further incursions into the UK’s territorial waters. The drones will be used to patrol the coast after Ministers became worried that Moscow was exploiting our lack of spy planes by making illegal incursions.
The unmanned Triton Global Hawks, which cost around £80m each, will also assist in stopping illegal immigration and drug running. They will keep watch of the coast from ten miles above without the need for much more expensive fully crewed spy planes.
Drones can spot hostile aircraft from 2,000 miles away and thanks to sophisticated cameras they can zoom in so close that they are able to identify the individual pilots. In advance of the purchase, British RAF drone pilots have been trained by the US Navy to fly the Global Hawks properly.
These new drones are needed because in 2010 the government axed the Nimrod Surveillance programme. This £4bn project ensured that Britain was not open to attack from the sea, but since the project was cancelled the Royal Navy and RAF have depended on planes from the US, Canada and France.
A defence source told The Sun: “Drones are cheaper to fly and maintain and can remain on target for hours on end. We have no real idea who is entering British waters and what their intentions are.”
Whilst these new purchases will go some way to allay public concerns about the increased risk from Vladimir Putin’s Russia, it will also raise questions about why the country was left so vulnerable to start with.
It is already an open secret in defence circles that many of the activities cancelled by the Kremlin after the Cold War have restarted. These are thought to include practise nuclear bombing raids on Britain, as well as intelligence operations.
The news also comes after Breitbart London reported that the new British Defence secretary has become the latest in a line of Western officials to accuse Russia of sponsoring terror over the downing of the Malaysian Airways MH17 jet.
Whilst Putin is highly unlikely to have ordered the attack personally, it is widely rumoured that he supplied Russian separatists with the missiles needed to bring down planes. They are believed to have used the equipment against the civilian flight.
Putin’s increasing belligerence, and threats to his neighbours have already led the US to increase the number of F16 fighters in Poland by twelve as a show of force. The actions of both sides have created an increasingly dangerous stand-off.