A [Watchkeeper] drone launched from West Wales Airport at Aberporth crashed in a lane close to the airstrip at around 5pm yesterday afternoon. Police and firefighters were called to the scene near Cyttir Mawr farmhouse after the pilotless plane - also known as a UAV – apparently came down in some trees.
No-one was injured but a Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said one crew used foam to clean up the resulting fuel spill.
All enquiries to the airport were being directed to the MoD press office this morning.
“We are aware of an incident involving a Watchkeeper aircraft which did not result in any injuries,” said a spokesperson. “The aircraft has been secured and there is no risk to the public. An investigation is underway.”
Jill Gough, of CND Cymru, said: "By my reckoning this is the fourth drone they’ve lost - and these UAVs cost £6m apiece - it’s an absolute scandal, really. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Cambrian News website.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Watchkeeper programme was originally contracted for £800 million by the British Army, but delays and overruns have boosted its cost to over £1,200 million.
In exchange, the British Army obtained 54 Watchkeeper aircraft, several of which were rushed to Afghanistan so they could fly some token missions before the British Army pulled of the country.
They have since been mostly operating on training missions, with regular crashes diminishing their number: five having been lost to date.
Thales UK and Thales HQ in France did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)