UK to deploy ‘drone swarms’ to beat Chinese, Russian air defenses: Williamson
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UK to deploy ‘drone swarms’ to beat Chinese, Russian air defenses: Williamson

In a speech at the Royal United Services Institute on Monday, Williamson said his department was committing £7 million to create a swarm squadron of drones capable of jamming enemy air defenses. He did not provide more details about the plan during the bellicose speech, which presented Brexit as an opportunity to “strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality and increase our mass.” Williamson said he expected the drones to be deployed by the end of 2019. The British Ministry of Defense, however, announced that it had yet to tender a design. Inside sources told The Guardian that the new drone unit would be able to locate radar and missile systems from countries such as Russia and China, and allow British or other aircraft to avoid them or take them out. Although Williamson did not specifically name Russia and China as the targets of the new project, he mentioned both countries as looming threats that London needed to confront. Calling Russia "resurgent," the British minister pointed to Moscow's ongoing program to renovate and equip its military. He also warned that China was developing modern capabilities, suggesting that London should boost its presence in the South China Sea by sending the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to the region. The warship is expected to make the journey to the Pacific in 2021. "We have to be ready to show the high price of aggressive behavior. Ready to strengthen our resilience," he said. Williamson, known for closely following US military policies, has been outspoken about his desire to expand the UK military’s reach after Brexit.

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