RAF considers RPAS to enhance force protection
Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel from the Force Protection Centre at RAF Honington recently carried out an operational capability demonstration using the Aeryon SkyRanger UAS to enhance force protection at RAF base Akrotiri in Cyprus.
The RAF is investigating the utility of relatively low-cost COTS UAS to enhance force protection and security as part of the Project AMYNTAS Rapid Capabilities Office-led trial. The operational capability demonstration was initiated to provide further evidence of utility at specific bases, showing the ability to enhance force protection through integration with station security, whilst deconflicting with air traffic control and enabling Air Ops.
The Aeryon SkyRanger is a VTOL UAS that can be controlled through tablet and stylus, that can carry various payloads including a 30x HD zoom camera and an EO/IR camera that can switch between the standard visual camera and thermal imagery spectrums with the tap of an icon. This provides a manoeuvrable asset that can dramatically assist force protection personnel with heat spot recognition and is especially effective during the hours of darkness.
The Force Protection Centre’s RPAS team have been issued with a provisional Categorisation for Class 1(b) MIL RPAS to operate on all RAF units day and night. The team will now complete a number of demonstrations on UK RAF Stations.
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