Skip to main content

Military Intervention

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN HL4751, tabled on 21 December 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to integrate the use in military operations of unmanned vehicles in the air, at sea, and on land.

Answered on

6 January 2016

Unmanned vehicles already play an important role in UK Armed Forces' operations across all environments. On the basis of the Government's National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review of November 2015, the Department is continuing to examine where unmanned systems may offer advantages over manned alternatives and to invest in new unmanned capabilities. For example, the Department is more than doubling the number of armed remotely piloted aircraft available to the UK Armed Forces under the Protector programme to replace the existing Reaper aircraft, and is also developing high-end technologies - including in collaboration with France and the US - under a future Unmanned Combat Air System programme.

Throughout the Department's development and integration of unmanned systems, the policy is that a human must always be responsible for any decisions on targeting.