Monday, 21 April 2008

Police and BAE to pilot spy planes

Airborne military technology developed to track the Taleban in Afghanistan will be deployed in England to spot muggers, stolen cars and even illegal immigrants arriving by sea.
Police forces in Kent and Essex have begun a development project with BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence company, to make unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) part of their arsenals. BAE’s high endurance rapid technology insertion vehicle (Herti) aircraft has been used by the British military in Afghanistan to direct bombing raids and to follow the Taleban back to their bases.
Police commanders hope that such military-grade equipment will be capable of automatically detecting crimes from the air and then directing ground forces to investigate further. BAE’s work with the Kent and Essex forces, called the South Coast Partnership, is part of a wider strategy that the company is adopting to move from pure defence into security. BAE wants to generate up to £300 million a year from civilian security operations, such as providing UAVs and monitoring the surveillance feeds from closed-circuit television cameras.
Read the rest of this item from Times Online

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