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MoD removes anti-drone military hardware from Gatwick | UK news


The military hardware deployed to stop drones disrupting flights at Gatwick airport has been withdrawn, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Reported drone sightings at the airport caused mass disruption to passengers in the run-up to Christmas and the army was brought in to help bring an end to the travel chaos. About 1,000 flights were affected.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said on Wednesday: “The military capability has now been withdrawn from Gatwick. The armed forces stand ever ready to assist should a request for support be received.”

Between 19 and 21 December, the airport was repeatedly forced to close due to reported drone sightings.

The Israeli-developed Drone Dome system is believed to be part of the technology used at the airport by the British Army. The anti-drone equipment can detect and jam communications between a drone and its operator and was deployed on a roof at Gatwick.

The system, which is said to have a range of several miles, uses four radars to give 360-degree detection in order to identify and track targets.

Chief Constable Giles York of Sussex Police said last week that police had received 115 reports of sightings in the area, including 93 that had been confirmed as coming from “credible people” including a pilot and airport staff.

Some reports of drones in the area may have involved the police’s own craft, he said, but added that he was “absolutely certain” that a drone was flying near the airport’s runways during the three-day disruption.

Police are still searching for those responsible.

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