Jan 30, 2014

Britain to set up drone development partnership with France

President François Hollande is due to arrive in Britain on Friday for a summit with David Cameron at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, where they are expected to agree to develop an Anglo-French Predator-type military drone.
Britain’s current programme relies upon American technology and is primarily operated out of the US due to restrictions on flying unmanned aircraft in European airspace.
The move follows on from 2010, when Britain and France agreed a series of measures to enhance defence co-operation including sharing aircraft carriers, joint expeditionary forces and training.
Last year, Britain and France agreed to launch a study into the feasibility of jointly developing drone technologies.
British defence company BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation will lead the project which is also expected to involve Rolls-Royce.
During the summit the leaders are also due to sign a €500m memorandum of understanding to build anti-ship missiles for French and British attack helicopters. In addition, they will confirm “progress” on creating a combined joint expeditionary force of 10,000 men by 2016, as well as further counter-terror co-operation.

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