According to the UK defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, the British Army, including the British troops in Estonia, will get their hands onto drones by the end of 2019.
The defence secretary said the UK troops overseas could get £66 million worth of new drones and robots that will be implemented in Iraq, Estonia and Afghanistan. Williamson noted that the “game-changing” and “ground-breaking” drones would be on the frontline by the end of the year.
“Each of these new technologies will enhance our army’s capabilities whilst reducing the risk to our personnel and I’m delighted we will be revolutionising frontline technology by the end of the year,” Williamson said.
“The [ministry of defence] has always embraced pioneering technology and this fund will ensure the UK stays at the forefront of global military capabilities and ahead of our adversaries,” the secretary added.
The drones will weigh about 200 grams (seven ounces), they can fit in a human hand and will be used as a surveillance device, giving the ground troops an eye in the sky.
A further £23 million will be spent on unmanned ground and airborne vehicles that can resupply troops on the frontline, cutting risk and allowing personnel to “focus on combat roles”, Williamson said.
The defence secretary also said another £12 million will be spent on updating existing armoured vehicles, allowing them to be operated and controlled remotely.
Over 500 British soldiers serve in Estonia, as part of the NATO enhanced forward presence battle group.
Cover: Pictured is a Royal Marine controlling a Black Hornet 2 remotely piloted drone (the image is illustrative/Wikimedia Commons).