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.