AFP
UK Details Transition Plan

UK Details Transition Plan 5 August, 2019

Britain is planning to retire its General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems in 2024 as the Royal Air Force transitions to its new Protector platform. The UK currently has 10 MQ-9 Reapers that it purchased as an urgent operational requirement for operations in Afghanistan. Today, they operate over Iraq and Syria, but none are destined for use in UK airspace. The UK currently is planning to buy 16 Protectors, a derivative of General Atomics’ self-developed, SkyGuardian platform.

Protector has autonomous landing and take-off capability that reduces the need for forward-based personnel to land the aircraft at forward-operating locations. British Protectors will be armed with the Raytheon Paveway IV laser-guided-bomb and MBDA Brimstone air-to-ground missile. UAV will be equipped with Lynx synthetic aperture radar.

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