Surveillance drones flown for first time from UK

The new aircraft, known as 13 Squadron, which were officially "stood up" in October, started flying missions over Afghanistan this week from their base in Lincolnshire.

The drones will be used in Afghanistan Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The hi-tech Reaper drones are primarily used to gather intelligence on enemy activity on the ground, but they also carry 500lb bombs and Hellfire missiles for precision strikes on insurgents.

An MoD spokesman said they had been carrying out missions including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, but would not comment on exactly what individual missions had been flown in the past week by drones piloted from the UK.

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Protest over armed Drones

Anti-war protesters will march to RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire today as the Ministry of Defence starts flying armed drones from the base to Afghanistan.