uks billion-dollar investment goes in the air for uav fleet
UKs Billion-Dollar Investment Goes in the Air for UAV Fleet
The UK Royal Air Force has decided to invest an approximate 1 billion dollars into their medium altitude long endurance division of aircrafts. They will put their moneys toward producing 16 Certifiable Predator B (CPB) airframes in addition to the production of their ground controls stations and sensors (GCS). Due to the price fluctuation of the armed Reaper UAVs from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. and other reasons the contact is still under review.
The Royal Air Force was the first to obtain the medium altitude long endurance systems back in the year 2008. The (RAF) Currently have a total of 10 uncertified MQ-9 Reapers that have been dispersed between two squadrons between 39 crews internally. Since the year 2004 the RAF has worked hand in hand in operating the US Air Force MQ-9 that have been used over middle eastern countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The Billion-dollar investment would also include,” 10 airframes; eight of GA-ASI’s newly developed advanced Ground Control Stations (with an option for four more); four new Launch and Recovery Element (LRE GCS) plus an upgrade to two of the RAF’s existing LRE GCS and an option to upgrade two more. The UK is also buying improved versions of the same sensors that are fitted to its current Reapers: the Raytheon Multispectral Targeting System (MTS, 14 plus an option for 11 more) and the GA-ASI Lynx Block 20A Synthetic Aperture Radar and Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI, also 14 plus an option for 11 more).
In addition to the primary structure of the aircrafts the UK purchases their weapons from a different source. Their weapons that are in speculation to be bought are missiles bombs and JDAMs.
Per an authorized senior RAF officer the CPB will be more efficient and will be able to provide a wider range and payload equipped with automatic takeoff and landing, able to withstand extreme weather conditions and allowed to be flown in the UK airspace.
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