For the first time, this year's Defence & Security International Exhibition (DSEi) will include live demonstrations of an operational scenario based on the use of unmanned systems under combat conditions.

Dubbed "Foot patrol in Afghanistan", the activity will include "demonstrating the integration and interoperability of numerous unmanned ground and airborne systems with force patrol operations", said Clarion Events, the show's organiser.

The daily demonstration will be conducted with the involvement of technology firm QinetiQ's West Wales UAV Centre.

"The display demonstrates the ability to safely integrate unmanned systems to meet current and emerging operational requirements," said Kevin Griffiths, the centre's services delivery manager.

"Our visitor research clearly indicates a desire to see products and technologies in action," said DSEi exhibition director Duncan Reid. "Our strategic partnership with the West Wales UAV Centre has enabled us to introduce one of the most important new features in recent years."

Qinetiq is offering potential users access to a recently expanded area of segregated airspace in Wales, to support unmanned air system activities such as research and development, training, performance demonstrations and environmental and communications equipment testing.

Current users of the Aberporth site include Thales UK, which is testing the British Army's new Watchkeeper system, ahead of its planned delivery late this year.

Its WK450 air vehicle is a development of the Elbit Systems Hermes 450.

Source: Flight International