On the deployment and development of UAVs by the British Armed Forces

Anna Jackman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones as they’re more popularly known, are becoming widely accepted as the "signature device of the present moment". As the platforms proliferate globally, they have become the focus of “intense debate”. In its growing adoption and usage of UAVs, the United Kingdom (UK) has become embroiled in such discussions. This chapter is tasked with providing a critical overview of UAVs, both in-service and under-development, associated with the British Armed Forces. It proceeds by providing a brief history of the military’s engagement with UAVs. It goes on to explore the role and promise with which the UK’s UAVs are imbued and associated. Following this, the chapter provides an overview of both current generation UAVs and those under development, broken down by Armed Forces branch. The remainder of the chapter details a range of challenges and concerns surrounding the UK’s deployment of UAVs. Broken down into three parts, this section explores: the (public) perception and contentions surrounding UK UAV usage, understandings of and challenges facing UAV operators, and lastly, several operational and geopolitical factors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrones: International Development and Deployment of UAVs
PublisherCRC Press Taylor & Francis Group
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018


  • Drones
  • Contemporary warfare

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