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Unmanned Air Vehicles

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what studies his Department has undertaken into the skill levels and qualifications required to fly unmanned aerial vehicles. (288198)

The UK's armed forces currently operate a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Medium Altitude Long Endurance Reaper System is flown by fully qualified pilots following their completion of conversion training. Smaller systems, such as Hermes 450 and Desert Hawk, do not require the full range of pilot skills and can therefore be operated by non-pilots who have received specialist UAV training only.

Several UK studies have been undertaken into current and future requirements for skill levels and qualifications for UAV operators as our capabilities in this area have developed. These include studies to define the skills and competences required to underpin operator selection and training and to derive formal standards for training programmes. This work is ongoing.