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UAV discussion thread

All discussion about the 2015 SDSR in here please.
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Gary
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UAV discussion thread

Post by Gary » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:54 pm

Another thread started, as reports say the UAV fleet will double to 20. Wonder if there might be any details on the mystery 'Protector' UAV Cameron mentioned in October? Or whether it's the Zephyr under the mil name?

So all info and discussion in this thread please
RAF Tornados left in service = 20 :( 137 ish days left in service
GR4 =17, GR4(T) =3

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cfett75
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Re: UAV discussion thread

Post by cfett75 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:43 pm

Confirmation of V. High altitude to survey enemies for longer periods of time!
Chris Fett-Worsfold
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Re: UAV discussion thread

Post by page_verify » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:48 pm

Edge of atmosphere, days of endurance and a British design

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Rich H
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Re: UAV discussion thread

Post by Rich H » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:53 pm

From the report:

"We will work with France to develop our Unmanned Combat Air System programme, and collaborate on complex weapons."

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TonyO
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Re: UAV discussion thread

Post by TonyO » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:50 pm

Gary wrote:Another thread started, as reports say the UAV fleet will double to 20. Wonder if there might be any details on the mystery 'Protector' UAV Cameron mentioned in October? Or whether it's the Zephyr under the mil name?
From Aviation Week - October

Britain will purchase an upgraded derivative of General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper medium altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial system to meet its newly re-named Protector program requirements, it has been revealed.
Protector - which had been known as Scavenger in defense ministry circles until just last week, until the new program name was revealed by British prime minster David Cameron in an interview with a Sunday newspaper – will see the U.K. purchase 20 platforms, replacing the current fleet of 10 Block 1 MQ-9s currently in operation, Air Commodore Peter Grinsted, Head of U.K. Unmanned Air Systems at the British defense ministry, told delegates to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s President Conference in London on October 7.
He said the aircraft would have “greater range…and with the larger number we are buying, we will double the capability.”
Grinsted said that a so-called “main gate” procurement decision milestone would be taken next March. Grinsted did not elaborate on the extent of the upgrade, sensor fit or armament, but Grinsted said he wanted to be able to operate the Protector fleet in U.K. airspace, something he wasn’t able to do with the current fleet of armed Reapers which were purchased as part of an Urgent Operational Requirement in 2008 to support operations in Afghanistan.
The U.K. is the only nation other than the U.S. to arm the MQ-9.
It is likely then that the U.K. will invest in the Certifiable Predator B aircraft currently in development, which features the ability to operate in adverse weather. The aircraft will also feature a more robust flight control system, and detect and avoid system.
Grinsted said he had several personnel “embedded in San Diego,” General Atomics main facility following up on the paperwork trail behind the new version’s development path so that it can be examined by the U.K.’s military airworthiness regulator, the Military Aviation Authority.
It is unclear what will happen to the U.K.’s existing fleet, whether these MQ-9s can be upgraded to the Certifiable Predator B standard, or if they will purchase 20 new aircraft off the General Atomics production line, but given the high tempo of operations for the U.K. Reaper fleet, taking aircraft away from operations appears an unlikely option.
The U.K. wants the Protector/Scavenger capability in service by the end of the decade.

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