APPG Inquiry into the Use of Armed Drones: Working with Partners


The APPG on Drones has launched a new inquiry to analyse the emerging technologies of drones, the ways in which the UK works with allies with regard to the use of armed drones, and make recommendations to ensure an appropriate level of transparency and accountability for these operations in Parliament.

The inquiry panel invites written submissions on all aspects of the terms of reference. The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday 31 October 2017.

The inquiry will build on the JCHR report on ‘The Government’s policy on the use of drones for targeted killing’, which has cast doubt on the legal basis, procedure and oversight for both the UK’s own drones policy and the UK’s support for the United States’ covert drone programme – which is now in the hands of President Trump.

The first evidence session took place on 7 December 2016 when the inquiry panel heard from General Sir Richard Barrons, former Commander of Joint Forces Command, Air Marshal Greg Bagwell, former Chief of Staff Joint Warfare Development PJHQ and Deputy Commander, RAF, and Air Marshal Iain McNicoll, former Director General of Joint Doctrine and Concepts and Deputy Commander, RAF.

The inquiry comes at a time when the UK intends to acquire up to 26 new Reaper variant or ‘Protector’ drones, plans to increase interoperability and collaborative working between Reaper users are underway, and the MoD is conducting a Defence policy review into remotely piloted aircraft systems. The APPG on Drones is pleased to welcome Professor Michael Clarke, former Director General of RUSI, to chair and lead the inquiry.