More Info: Thales killer drones

Thales’ partnership with Israeli arms company, Elbit, has been widely researched and reported on. Here’s a few articles that you might be interested in.

Electronic Intifada: Glasgow activists arrested for shutting down drone maker tied to Gaza slaughter

“Thales UK— a subsidiary of the French company, Thales, which is ranked by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute as the eleventh largest arms producer in the world — signed a $1.6 billion contract with Israel’s largest military technology firm Elbit Systems in 2011 to develop a new drone fleet for the UK military called Watchkeeper.

“Watchkeeper is based on Elbit’s Hermes 450 model, one of Israel’s most widely deployed attack drones.

“Like most weapons developed in Israel, the Hermes 450 has been tested and perfected on the people of Gaza, which allows Elbit to market its star drone as “combat-proven.”

“Outfitted to carry two medium range missiles, the Hermes 450 was used by the Israeli army during its Winter 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza to deliberately target Palestinian civilians, according to an investigation by Human Rights Watch.

“This arrangement, which treats Palestine as Israel’s proprietary weapons laboratory, has paved the way for Israel to become the world’s number one exporter of drones.”

Campaign against the Arms Trade

Thales pavilion at Farnborough International 2012“Thales is the world’s 11th largest arms producer, with military products comprising 49% of its 2012 sales”

Wikipedia: Thales Watchkeeper WK450

“The Royal Artillery has a future aspiration to weaponise Watchkeeper.”

“The Watchkeeper is built in the UK by a joint venture company, UAV Tactical Systems (U-TacS), set up by theIsraeli company Elbit Systems (51% ownership) and the Thales group. UAV Engines Ltd, who build the rotary engine in the UK, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems.”

Drone Wars: Israel and the Drone Wars

“The UK’s Watchkeeper drone, being developed and built in conjunction with Israeli company Elbit Systems, is a good example of how Israel profits from its long experience of this new way to wage war. Indeed it could be said that if you scratch any drone you will likely find Israeli technology underneath”.

Corporate Watch: Company profile of Elbit

“85% of drones used by the Israeli military are manufactured by Elbit. Elbit’s armed drones are used by the Israeli army in daily surveillance and attacks in Gaza…”

“…the Elbit website advertises that the Hermes 450 drone is the “backbone of Israel’s UAS fleet” and is combat proven.”

War on Want: Killer Drones

“In December 2013 War on Want argued in its Killer Drones report that the UK was complicit in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people by “in effect, buying technology that has been ‘field tested’ on Palestinians.”

Thales in their own words:

“Watchkeeper can identify and pinpoint targets, and, when appropriate, control or cue military action”.

Prof Michel Chossudovsky in Global Research:

“The aerial bombings and the ongoing ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli ground forces must be analysed in a historical context. Operation “Cast Lead” is a carefully planned undertaking, which is part of a broader military-intelligence agenda first formulated by the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001”

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CALL OUT – Friday 8 April 2016

Thales Watchkeeper drone.

DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE THALES ARMS FACTORY
Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9HA
Friday 8 April 2016, 11am – 1.30pm

20-minute walk from Three Bridges station
(London-Brighton mainline near Gatwick Airport)

Thales (UK) works with the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems to develop the Watchkeeper drone, modelled on Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone used extensively over Gaza. Thales is therefore a major target in the STOP ARMING ISRAEL campaign.

We are calling on campaigning groups in London and the South East to endorse, publicise and come along to this demonstration to give a clear message to Thales that:

  • they are complicit in Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people through their joint enterprise with Israeli arms company Elbit Systems
  • arms manufacturers are not welcome in our communities.

Please send your group’s endorsement to Sussex Stop Arming Israel: sussexstoparmingisrael [at] riseup.net

Why Thales?

The UK’s Watchkeeper drone has been developed under a £1 billion joint venture contract awarded by the Ministry of Defence to Thales UK and Israel’s Elbit Systems, allowing the UK military to benefit from technologies that have been ‘field tested’ on the Palestinians.

The Crawley factory is one of Thales’s largest facilities in the UK.

The Watchkeeper drone project illustrates the collaboration between the UK government and Israel, and the joint working between private arms companies from both countries.

The demo outside the Thales arms factory in Crawley on April 8th will be an important part of the campaign for a two-way arms embargo against Israel, as called for by the Palestinian BDS National Committee:

“A comprehensive military embargo on Israel is long overdue. It would form a crucial step towards ending Israel’s unlawful and criminal use of force against the Palestinian people and other peoples and states in the region and would constitute an effective, non-violent measure to pressure Israel to comply with its obligations under international law.” http://bdsmovement.net/activecamps/military-embargo

We’re relaying the call-out to all affiliated networks, especially in southeast England – trade unions, faith groups, students, human rights and antiracist groups. We’re hoping for a great turnout.

These are critical times for Palestinians.There is evidence that Israel, supported by its ever-belligerent US backers, is planning another murderous attack on defenceless Gaza civilians, in tandem with its brutal attacks on Palestinian resistance in the Occupied West Bank.

Bring banners and other displays for a lively visual impact at the factory’s surrounding fence!

Stay tuned for further details and thanks for your support.

watchkeeper-201004161

Directions to ‘Drones off our doorstep’ on 8th April

The Thales factory is on the Manor Royal industrial estate, on the junction of London Road and manor Royal. It is easy to reach from Gatwick or Three Bridges train stations.

Driving

There are lots of streets nearby where you can park.

By train and bus

Bus route from Three bridges and Crawley station Fastway number 20 and 100 stops (three bridges 20) A and D, Crawley bus station 100.
Every 15-20 mins

From Gatwick (every 10 mins or so) and Horley station 100 route, 20 and 10 routes Fastway and metrobus services run through manor royal.

For routes all over Crawley these three services all run to Manor Royal from central Crawley, Bewbush, Broadfield and Maidenbower.

100 service runs also from various locations at Redhill and Salfords.

By train and cycling:

atwick to Manor Royal cycle

Three Bridges to Manor Royal Cycle

By train and walking

Three bridges to Manor Royal Walk

Walking from Three Bridges:

Walk north on Williams Way – 456 ft
(this route is a rough pathway and so alternatively you can skip this and walk left twds and around Lidl onto Haslet avenue past the snooty fox and carry on until you reach r/about by Tesco)

Turn right towards Haslett Ave E/A2220 – 161 ft

Turn left at Haslett Ave E/A2220 -23 ft

Turn left towards Haslett Ave E/A2220 -79 ft

Sharp right onto Haslett Ave E/A2220 – 20 ft

Take the pedestrian overpass – 0.3 mi

At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Hazelwick Ave  – 0.2 mi

Slight left towards Crawley Ave/A2011 – 0.2 mi

At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Crawley Ave/A2011 – 0.3 mi

Slight right onto Power Ave – 331 ft

Turn right to stay on Power Ave

Turn right onto Manor Royal 13 ft

Manor Royal Crawley RH10, UK

Landmarks on way

  • Lidl
  • Snooty fox
  • Crawley Lawn tennis club
  • Tesco store
  • Hazelwick school fields

When you enter industrial estate kep following directions until you come out on Manor Royal Ind Estate Road. You will come out at side path by old G4S unit. Turn left here and continue past Ford and Kia garage, Keep walking and the last unit across the road before the traffic junction is Thales.

 

Endorsements for April 8th

Sussex Stop Arming Israel is pleased to announce that a growing number of organisations have endorsed the Thales demo on April 8th.

We’ve listed the supporters below, and hope to add to this list over the coming days and weeks. If your organisation wishes to endorse the demo, please email us at sussexstoparmingisrael [at] riseup.net.

Many thanks to all our supporters! See you on April 8th!

More about the Crawley demo on April 8th

Sussex Stop Arming Israel is pleased to announce that organisations around the country are sending in their endorsements of the demo. These will be posted on our website soon.

cropped-img_0319a.jpgIn the meantime, here are a few details about the demo:

  • This demonstration will seek to draw attention to the activities of arms manufacturer Thales and their partnership with israeli arms-makers Elbit Systems, the makers of the deadly Hermes drone used extensively for assaults on, and surveillance of, the people of Gaza. And it will seek to draw attention to the UK government’s deep involvement in the two-way arms trade between Britain and Israel.
  • The plan is for a noisy demo with a high visual impact, with banners, placards, photos. The demo will be a fixed one outside the factory.
  • The call-out is being made widely and publicly, so please circulate it.

More soon…

Sussex Stop Arming Israel – Who we are

Sussex Stop Arming Israel is a coalition of groups and individuals campaigning for justice for the Palestinian people by exposing companies in Sussex complicit in war crimes by the Israeli regime. We are part of the wider global Stop Arming Israel movement, and in the UK our objective is an arms embargo – an end to the deadly and lucrative arms trade between Israel and the UK. This in turn is one element of the international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in support of the Palestinians’ liberation struggle.

CALL OUT – Drone manufacturers off our doorstep! April 8th 2016

Watchkeeper_WK450_lg
DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE THALES ARMS FACTORY
Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex
Friday 8 April 2016, 11am

20-minute walk from Three Bridges station
(London-Brighton mainline near Gatwick Airport)

Thales (UK) works with the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems to develop the Watchkeeper drone, modelled on Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone used extensively over Gaza. Thales is therefore a major target in the STOP ARMING ISRAEL campaign.

We are calling on campaigning groups in London and the South East to endorse, publicise and come along to this demonstration to give a clear message to Thales that:
  • they are complicit in Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people through their joint enterprise with Israeli arms company Elbit Systems
  • arms manufacturers are not welcome in our communities.

Please send your group’s endorsement to Sussex Stop Arming Israel: sussexstoparmingisrael [at] riseup.net

Why Thales?

The UK’s Watchkeeper drone has been developed under a £1 billion joint venture contract awarded by the Ministry of Defence to Thales UK and Israel’s Elbit Systems, allowing the UK military to benefit from technologies that have been ‘field tested’ on the Palestinians.

The Crawley factory is one of Thales’s largest facilities in the UK.

The Watchkeeper drone project illustrates the collaboration between the UK government and Israel, and the joint working between private arms companies from both countries.

The demo outside the Thales arms factory in Crawley on April 8th will be an important part of the campaign for a two-way arms embargo against Israel, as called for by the Palestinian BDS National Committee:

“A comprehensive military embargo on Israel is long overdue. It would form a crucial step towards ending Israel’s unlawful and criminal use of force against the Palestinian people and other peoples and states in the region and would constitute an effective, non-violent measure to pressure Israel to comply with its obligations under international law.” http://bdsmovement.net/activecamps/military-embargo

We’re relaying the call-out to all affiliated networks, especially in southeast England – trade unions, faith groups, students, human rights and antiracist groups. We’re hoping for a great turnout.

These are critical times for Palestinians.There is evidence that Israel, supported by its ever-belligerent US backers, is planning another murderous attack on defenceless Gaza civilians, in tandem with its brutal attacks on Palestinian resistance in the Occupied West Bank.

Bring banners and other displays for a lively visual impact at the factory’s surrounding fence!

Stay tuned for further details and thanks for your support.