Airspace Integration Slows Watchkeeper
Mar 22, 2012
By Robert Wall
LONDON — Continued delays in fielding the Watchkeeper unmanned aircraft are linked to clearing the system for use in military and civil airspace, the U.K. Defense Ministry says.
After several delays, the military was hoping to field Watchkeeper in Afghanistan last year, but that milestone was only the latest of several missed for one of the U.K.’s flagship unmanned aircraft efforts. Now, Peter Luff, defense minister for equipment, tells Parliament that obtaining the airworthiness certification to fly in both civil and military environments “is taking longer than anticipated.”