Drones will be deployed to hazardous zones to analyse substances more quickly

HI-TECH drones and robots will be deployed to hazardous zones as part of a £11 million funding to the UK’s chemical defences.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has sanctioned the cash which will also boost government scientist’s ability to analyse poisonous substances more quickly.

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Drones and robots will be deployed to hazardous zones as part of a £11 million boost to the UK’s chemical defence[/caption]

The move comes on the eve of the Salisbury Novichok anniversary where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia survived the Russia attack.

The investment will allow the UK to remain at the forefront of chemical and biological defence with unmanned vehicles conducting more testing of substances.

It will mean the risk posed to humans through contact with grade agents will be reduced dramatically.

The funding will be availble in the new financial year and will be given to programmes that benefit the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, Saisbury, Wiltshire.

Mr Williamson said: “After the Novichok attack in Salisbury a year ago, the nation turned to the Armed Forces and expert scientists.


“From the investigation to the clean-up, the military and everyone involved in the operation have worked tirelessly to decontaminate the streets of Salisbury.

“Britain and its allies have also demonstrated that they will take a stand against the use of chemical weapons, from the sanctions enforced on Russia following the reckless use of Novichok to the strikes against the chemicals used by Syrian regime.

“We recognise we need resilience to face evolving threats which is why we have invested £11million into ensuring we have a world-leading capability.”

Standing Joint Commander Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch said: “The decontamination work in Salisbury and Amesbury over the last 12 months has been a complex and daunting challenge for the Armed Forces.

“All of the personnel involved demonstrated adaptability, professionalism, resilience and courage; they have been absolutely first-class and lived up to their world-leading reputation.

“This investment will allow us to further improve our expertise and, most importantly, keep the public safe.”


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