Eye on Pakistan

The UAE has deployed unmanned aircraft in Afghanistan

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on November 17, 2009

From the Angry Arab blog, I learn that the UAE air force has quietly deployed unmanned aircraft in Afghanistan to support British operations.

From Aviation Week:

The United Arab Emirates’ air and air defense force has been quietly supporting NATO operations in Afghanistan. The UAE military has deployed tactical unmanned aircraft to Afghanistan to work with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, says Royal Air Force Air Marshal Stephen Dalton. The UAV is currently operational in Helmand Province, working with the British military, Dalton revealed at the Dubai Air Chiefs Conference today. The specific UAV type wasn’t disclosed, but Dalton says it was a ScanEagle-sized vehicle, although not the Boeing UAV specifically. Dalton heralded the deployment as a sign of what contributions even non-NATO allies can make when they ensure their systems are interoperable with allies. The deployment fits in with a broader relationship with U.K. and UAE have, with U.K. officers also in the UAE’s Air Warfare Center. Dalton says he’s keen to keep the relationship healthy through exercises. And despite the heavy tasking on British forces, he’s hoping to extend an invitation to Gulf Cooperation Council forces for training opportunities in the U.K. in the next 12-18 months.

This is a part of the British military’s drive to sell its services abroad, to save costs in Afghanistan (in this case by relying on allies,) and to further bind various Arab armed forces into its own military orbit. How long before these UAE UAVs conduct operations in Pakistan?

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One Response

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  1. IZ said, on November 17, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    “How long before these UAE UAVs conduct operations in Pakistan?” Nice to see you’ve jumped on the national-soverignity-violating-drone-hysteria bandwagon.

    And I dont see such a big deal with UAE UAVs being used in Afghanistan since they have a military contingent serving there:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=80f_1206719205
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7318731.stm

    And by the way, American surveillance drones are being used to provide intelligence to the Pakistani army fighting in Waziristan:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-us-pakistan23-2009oct23,0,660132.story

    And judging by this eyewitness account, comparing the current army offensive in Waziristan to previous ones, the drones are having an impact:

    ‘The war would have been difficult on the ground, so it would be wise if the army stays in the air. This time around the army also has the drones to assist them and they can easily attack the suspected targets,’ says Haji Akbar.

    http://dawnnews.tv/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/18-a-new-battlefront-am-01


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