Unmanned spy drones could patrol Britain’s shores looking for illegal immigrants and smugglers after a series of high-level meetings in Brussels, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
The European Commission aims to spend £260 million on its ‘Eurosur’ project, which includes a plan for surveillance drones to patrol the Mediterranean coast.
At the same time, several schemes are under way in Britain, aiming to develop civilian roles for aircraft based on the killer drones hunting Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
If the high-tech measures against terrorists, illegal immigrants and smugglers in the Mediterranean are successful, there would be pressure on the UK to follow suit.
Surveillance planes with military-grade cameras would be more effective at monitoring the coastline than satellites or standard planes.
British defence firms are testing sophisticated ‘sense and avoid’ systems on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over the Irish Sea and some experts believe European civilian airspace could soon see drones flying alongside other aircraft.
Continue reading: Spy drones over the Med