The UK parliament's Defence Committee is to investigate the current and future use of remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) "by the UK military and intelligence communities", as part of a new inquiry.

Objectives for the activity will include looking at the roles performed by unmanned systems during UK operations in Afghanistan, and the potential additional capabilities that could be fielded by 2020. It also will look at constraints on the use of such equipment, plus "ethical and legal issues", the committee says.

 RAF Reaper - Crown Copyright

Crown Copyright

The UK Royal Air Force operates the armed Reaper over Afghanistan

To also look at the recent work conducted by the ASTRAEA consortium in pursuing the use of unmanned air systems during civilian aerospace applications, the committee will make recommendations "to inform the future development and use of RPAS by the UK in the context of the next Strategic Defence and Security Review", it says.

The cross-party committee is inviting the submission of written evidence in support of its work, with this to be received before 13 September.

Source: Flight International