UV - Unmanned Vehicles

RAF preps for MQ-9B Protector

16th March 2018 - 13:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A Royal Air Force (RAF) team based in the US is preparing the way to introduce the MQ-9B Protector into service, the RAF announced on 13 March.

The Protector Combined Test Team (CTT) includes pilots, sensor operators and engineers from the RAF, industry partners and the US Air Force. The team is coordinating testing and evaluation of the Protector system to ensure that the aircraft complies with national and international airspace and safety regulations.

Protector is the first aircraft of its kind to be certified in this way, allowing it to operate safely and effectively in a wide variety of environments and locations, including support of humanitarian relief operations.

Protector will replace the MQ-9 Reaper in RAF service.  

Wing Commander Iain Hutchinson, head of CTT, said: ‘Protector represents a step change in RPAS capability and all of us in the CTT are genuinely excited about bringing the platform into frontline service with the RAF.

‘Protector promises to expand upon Reaper’s long-range surveillance and precision strike capabilities. By complementing existing and future ISTAR and combat air capabilities such as the F-35 Lightning II, it will meet the needs of UK defence worldwide for decades to come.’

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