Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are important power factors for the armed forces, as they can operate in high enemy environments and attacking opportunity targets when necessary.
The first acquisition agreement was signed for Protector RG1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed in line with the requirements and demands of the UK. The platforms that are specified to enter the Royal Air Force inventory are classified as MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance). London, signed the contract with GA-ASI (General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc) for three platforms, costing $ 82 million. The Protector RG1, which is planned to be acquired as a total of 16 initially, will replace the nine MQ-9 Reapers currently in use .
Protector RG1, planned to be deployed at the RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, was developed on the MQ-9B SkyGuardian. Driven by a 940 hp Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop engine, the platform has a 24 metres wingspan. With a maximum take-off weight of 5,670 kilograms, UAV can operate at an altitude of 40,000 feet. The platform, which has 40 hours endurance, can carry 2,155 kilograms payload and weapons at nine hardpoints. Protector RG1s, which can serve in non-segregated airspaces, can reach a 6,000 nautical miles range. The lifespan of the platforms is 40,000 hours according to the manufacturer's data.