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RAF Prepares for Its ‘Protectors’

The UK Ministry of Defence revealed on 13 March that the Royal Air Force (RAF) is preparing to introduce Protector unmanned aerial vehicles into service, replacing MQ-9 Reapers it currently operates. The Ministry said the Protector Combined Test Team (CTT) is now coordinating the testing and evaluation of the Protector system.

Also known as the Certifiable Predator B (CPB), the UAVs are equipped with multispectral targeting systems and AN/APY-8 Lynx IIe Block 20A synthetic aperture radar. Armed with Brimstone 2 missiles and Paveway IV laser-guided bombs, CPB has a maximum operating altitude of 45,000 ft, an endurance of more than 40 hours and can reach a maximum speed of 200 kt.

UK's current Protector UAV order is 16 with options for an additional 10. 


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