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Australian Senate Committee gives green light for acquisition and use of armed drones

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World Defense & Security Industry News - Australia
 
 
 
Australian Senate Committee gives green light for acquisition and use of armed drones
 
An Australian Senate Committee gave an exclusive right to Australia's military personnel to operate armed unmanned aircrafts and use them in compliance with international law, according to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Legislation Committee. "A policy statement governing the deployment of armed unmanned platforms should be clearly articulated by the Australian government," the report read, according to Australian news agency AAP.
     
An Australian Senate Committee gave an exclusive right to Australia's military personnel to operate armed unmanned aircrafts and use them in compliance with international law, according to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Legislation Committee. "A policy statement governing the deployment of armed unmanned platforms should be clearly articulated by the Australian government," the report read, according to Australian news agency AAP. Australian Army's RQ-7B 200 Shadow UAV
     
The committee urged comprehensive communication between Australian government departments on the issue of armed drones.

"This should reinforce Australia's longstanding commitment to use military capabilities of any kind in accordance with Australia's international legal obligations," the report said.

The report said that an upcoming Force Structure Review may provide for obtaining armed unmanned aircraft by the country.

The review will determine future capability needs of the Australia Defense Force and will address allocating funding ahead of the release of the Australian 2015 Defense White Paper.

The Australian Defense Force has has operated several unmanned aircraft that have been used for surveillance in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will soon acquire long-range Triton aircraft for maritime surveillance. Plans by the military to acquire armed drones are currently on hold due to disputes surrounding the extensive use of the lethal aircraft by the United States, according to the news agency.

The Australian Army currently operates 18 RQ-7B Shadow 200 drones, while the Royal Australian Air Force uses two IAI heron UAVs.