Royal Air Force begins training instructors on Protector UAV simulator in the US
The IOC crews, comprising pilot, sensor operator, and mission intelligence controller (MIC), have been testing various scenarios using the simulators, under the tuition of GA-ASI instructors.
Simulated missions include ISR activity to locate and track designated targets on the ground, with the pilot maintaining an optimum position in the air.
The objective of the course is to create RAF-specific training material and scenarios for Protector crews.
The Protector RG1 is a variant of the RQ-9B SkyGuardian and is due to enter service in mid-2024, achieve FOC in 2026 and be employed in ISTAR and strike operations from their base at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.
The programme aims to replace the MQ-9As in the RAF's inventory with the improved MQ-9B, delivering a UK sovereign capability for deep and persistent armed ISTAR out to the late 2030s, that will encompass long-range, persistent wide-area surveillance and precision strike capabilities.
The UK Protector programme is aiming to create and support an International Training Centre (ITC) at RAF Waddington.
An MoD statement from 2021 noted: 'Housing the Synthetic Training System for the aircraft, the centre will enable crews from the RAF and international partners to conduct a significant amount of their training in a secure environment, linking in future with the Defence Collective Training environment under the UK Gladiator programme.'
Synthetic training equipment for the ITC will be provided by CAE as the training partner for General Atomics. CAE previously provided training centres for the MQ-9 in Italy and the UAE.
Shephard's DSEI 2023 coverage is sponsored by:
More from DSEI 2023 | View all news
Controp Precision Technologies unveiled its Smart Vision AI software for enhancing the level of autonomy and automation for a variety of surveillance and reconnaissance missions at DSEI 2023.
Babcock has signed an MoU with propulsion experts Cosworth to investigate the use of hybrid power systems in military vehicles and will begin with integrating a Catalytic Generator (Cat Gen) into a 70 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.
DSEI 2023 took place in the shadow of the largest European land war in more than seven decades and a growth in conversations about artificial intelligence (AI) with limited UK immediate defence programme opportunities; many of the new products and exhibitors' announcements reflected this.
Israeli UAS developer SpearUAV introduced a submarine-launched capsule option for its Viper 750 UAV at DSEI 2023.
Shephard Defence Insight explores the evolution of BAE Systems Hägglunds’ CV90 IFV from its inception in the late 1980s to the latest CV90 MkIV, detailing the order history and upgrade packages of its ten European customers.
Advanced Protection System (APS) has reported a 90% success in tracking Russian UAVs operating in the Ukraine war using its SKYctrl anti-drone system.