> our title:

British UAVs Drop More PGMs Than Fighters

> original title:

UK Parliamentary Questions: Afghanistan

(Source: House of Commons Hansard; published July 07, 2014)

Written answer provided by Mark Francois, MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces:

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) precision-guided munitions and (b) gravity bombs of each type have been dropped in Afghanistan by British (i) fixed-wing aircraft and (ii) unmanned aerial vehicles since 23 March 2011. [200904]

Mr Francois: The number of precision-guided munitions dropped in Afghanistan in the period requested are shown in the following table. No free fall bombs have been dropped in this time.

-- Aircraft Type: /24 March 2011 to 16 June 2014 (inclusive)
-- Fixed Wing: 71
-- Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS): 317

Use of force remains closely controlled and the avoidance of civilian casualties has been paramount. Professional crews carefully select the smallest warhead appropriate to the target being attacked to ensure they deliver the required effect, while minimising the risk to civilians.

All UK forces operate in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, following the principles of distinction, humanity, proportionality and military necessity. The UK’s clearly defined Rules of Engagement are formulated on this basis.

The same strict Rules of Engagement that govern the use of conventional military aircraft also apply to RPAS and targets are always positively identified as legitimate military objectives.

Reaper is the UK’s only RPAS with the ability to deploy precision-guided weapons.