Nicholas Constant

Predator/ Protector


RAF Menwith Hill can be seen as the NSA’s British base. According to files released by Edward Snowden, the base has 2 main spying capabilities, FORNSAT (uses radars contained in these white golf ball-like domes to eavesdrop on communications being beamed between foreign satellites) and OVERHEAD (uses US satellites to locate and monitor wireless communications on the ground, such as phone calls and Wi-Fi traffic). The location is used for intelligence gathering that directly corresponds to the U.S’s highly controversial targeted killing program, selecting targets to be put on a ‘kill list’ to be taken out by drones. This is disputed against, as there have been cases where people are being falsely put on this kill list as the program only operates on the data it collects.



https://www.theintercept.com/2016/09/06/nsa-menwith-hill-targeted-killing-surveillance/

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/i-am-on-the-us-kill-list-this-is-what-it-feels-like-to-be-hunted-by-drones-a6980141.html

https://act.reprieve.org.uk/page/s/deathbydata

Alternate view of Mentwith Hill

GCHQ

(Government Communications Headquarters) is the UK’s equivalent of the US’s NSA (National Security Agency) which is an intelligence and security organisation that provides signals intelligence and information to the government and military. Since the invention of the computer, which is where the inception of GCHQ stems from the activities at Bletchley Park, information gathering and assessing has been a crucial aspect to any military program. In files that Snowden had released it shows that GCHQ and the NSA had been involved in hacking Israeli drone feeds operating in Syria and Lebanon. This shows us that the information aspect of warfare has rapidly evolved and has brought us further away from the front-line where the locating, tracking and killing of a target can be done thousands of miles away, begging the question whether we are living in a ‘battlespace’.



https://reprieve.org.uk/press/new-gchq-chief-must-halt-uk-role-covert-us-drone-strikes-reprieve-comment/

The MQ-9 Reaper is arguably the most notorious drone around the world. It is produced in the US and is described as a ‘hunter-killer’ drone that can fly at a high altitude and is designed for long endurance missions. The UK has 10 of these drones in their fleet already, and will soon swap these for the new Predator drones which they will be renaming the Protector drone. The name of the Reaper drone hints to how sinister it is with naming it after the personification of death, a being that cannot be affected by those who encounter it but is a harbinger of death.



https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/predator-uav/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/01/ministry-of-defence-unveils-new-armed-drone-that-can-spy-on-targ/

Ferranti is one of the 4 Elbit factories I have visited in the UK. Elbit is Israel’s largest arms manufacturer that describes its drones as being “the backbone” of the Israeli drone fleet. Ferranti is believed to produce guidance systems for the drones. Their website describes the work they do as being “Suppliers of engineering, manufacturing and product support solutions for Aerospace and Defence markets”.



https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/mapping/organisation/5233

http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news-headlines/104365/calls-to-end-arms-exports-to-israel

http://www.ferranti-technologies.co.uk

UAV Engines is said to produce exactly what it is called, UAV Engines. A spokesperson from Elbit denies the use of their products being used in the Hermes 450 drone. Yet there is evidence to support claims that states that their engine, ‘UEL AR080-1010’, had been used in this drone that had been operating since 2006 in Gaza.



https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/press-release-me-let-me-go/gaza-are-israels-pilotless-drones-powered-british-made-engines

www.airframer.com/direct_detail.html?company=119881

The Hermes 450 is an Israeli drone produced by Elbit. The Hermes 450 and 900 have both been used predominantly in the Gaza conflict where independent journalists claim the Isreali forces failed to take all feasible precautions to verify the targets were combatants. Elbit has worked with Thales to produce the British drone the ‘Watchkeeper’ which is based off the Hermes drone. Hermes is a Olympian God known for being a traveller and messenger. He is also known for being a trickster and escorting the dead. To name an unmanned aerial vehicle controlled from miles away after a God says a lot about the perception of these weapons.



https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/revealed-britain-s-role-in-arming-israel-9643902.html

https://www.hrw.org/report/2009/06/30/precisely-wrong/gaza-civilians-killed-israeli-drone-launched-missiles

RAF Waddington is the only place in the UK where they operate drones that are in active battlezones. The No.39 Squadron RAF began operating from the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada training and then operating the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper before being relocated to this location. No.13 Squadron RAF also operates here. Three pilots undertake the operations at all times with a long chain of command that include people watching the drone footage in real time to make assessments on the situations. Operators based in Waddington would, in sense, be commuting to and from the battlefield everyday, from the safety of their homes to various places in the Middle East. This has led to drone warfare being seen as a ‘post-heroic warfare’ where in some cases video-gamers are being sort after more than the stereotypical solider.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25425711

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-drone-pilots-get-medals-isis-iraq-syria-reaper-drone-strikes-killing-kill-terrorists-fighters-a7957356.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/royal-air-force-recruit-video-game-players-operate-reaper-drones


RAF Waddington is the only place in the UK where they operate drones that are in active battlezones. The No.39 Squadron RAF began operating from the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada training and then operating the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper before being relocated to this location. No.13 Squadron RAF also operates here. Three pilots undertake the operations at all times with a long chain of command that include people watching the drone footage in real time to make assessments on the situations. Operators based in Waddington would, in sense, be commuting to and from the battlefield everyday, from the safety of their homes to various places in the Middle East. This has led to drone warfare being seen as a ‘post-heroic warfare’ where in some cases video-gamers are being sort after more than the stereotypical solider.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25425711

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-drone-pilots-get-medals-isis-iraq-syria-reaper-drone-strikes-killing-kill-terrorists-fighters-a7957356.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/royal-air-force-recruit-video-game-players-operate-reaper-drones

I went to photograph scenes around this area to highlight the comparison in everyday life here compared to the everyday life people would be experiencing in the places where drone squadrons operate. A 13 year old boy, Zubair Rehman, appeared in front of US congress to talk about his injury and grandmothers death from a drone strike where he goes on to say, ‘I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey. And for a short period of time, the mental tension and fear eases.’ With this in mind I wanted to show the comparison between the place of cause and the place of affect.



https://medium.com/@reprieveuk/my-grandmother-and-i-used-to-share-a-love-of-bright-blue-skies-ab2dd4919b24

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/saddest-words-congresss-briefing-drone-strikes/354548/

I went to photograph scenes around this area to highlight the comparison in everyday life here compared to the everyday life people would be experiencing in the places where drone squadrons operate. A 13 year old boy, Zubair Rehman, appeared in front of US congress to talk about his injury and grandmothers death from a drone strike where he goes on to say, ‘I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey. And for a short period of time, the mental tension and fear eases.’ With this in mind I wanted to show the comparison between the place of cause and the place of affect.



https://medium.com/@reprieveuk/my-grandmother-and-i-used-to-share-a-love-of-bright-blue-skies-ab2dd4919b24

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/saddest-words-congresss-briefing-drone-strikes/354548/

This is the only space in the UK where it is legal for drones to be test flown where drones like the Watchkeeper undergo their tests and evaluations. This location shows that drones are already flying within our space and raises the question if and when they will be used in our country and for what purposes.



http://www.flyuav.co.uk/about/


Drones are controlled from storage containers similar to this one with the dimensions being 8x8x20 ft. This puts into question whether these spaces could be considered a battlezone as the pilots operate in those areas. This is made apparent as PTSD is not only achievable in these conditions, but some claim there is a higher percentage of this happening. The distance is important as the operators control the weapons from a risk-free zone, spurring some to call it a type of ‘post-heroic’ warfare.



https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/11639746/Post-traumatic-stress-disorder-is-higher-in-drone-operators.html

https://www.aerotime.aero/en/defense/19706-do-drone-pilots-get-ptsd

Standing on top of white cliffs between Margate and Ramsgate, looking 118.63° toward Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan

Using Format