The primary of 16 RG.1 Protector RPAS efficiently introduced over to the UK at RAF Waddington ceremony.
On Oct. 23, 2023, the RAF held a welcoming ceremony for the primary RAF RG.1 Protector Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) arriving within the nation. A variation of the Basic Atomics MQ-9B, the RG.1 was first ordered by the British authorities in July 2020 as a part of a £65 million contract. The airframe delivered in the present day (PR009) is the primary of 16 RG.1s from the preliminary deal.
The airframe arrived within the UK final September and has been present process preparation for entry of service, together with an addition of squadron colors and roundel. It seems that whereas PR005 was the primary airframe to be accepted into RAF arms, PR009 was the primary to reach within the UK, suspecting that PR005 nonetheless stays in southern California for the coaching of the primary RAF RG.1 pilots. For the reason that signing of the contract, RAF personnel have been based mostly in southern California, present process coaching on the platform in preparation for entry to service.
It’s arrived! The primary of 16 Protector plane, the RAF’s newest Remotely Piloted Air System, has arrived at @RAFWaddington prepared for testing later this yr.
— Royal Air Power (@RoyalAirForce) October 23, 2023
The RG.1 is deliberate to enter service in 2024 after floor and air trials.
Currently, preparation for the platform’s arrival to the RAF have been ramping up. The previous Twister GR4 operator, 31 Squadron was reformed on Oct. 11, 2023. The “Goldstars” are set to be the primary unit to function the British Protectors. Primarily based at RAF Waddington, 31 Squadron have oversaw the supply and reassembly of the primary airframe. In line with Basic Atomics, the plane was straight flown from El Mirage, California to Waddington by way of AN-124.
With extra airframes scheduled to reach within the UK shortly, the RG1 will bear a quick floor and air testing part earlier than its official entry to service in 2024. The primary set of checks is claimed to contain floor testing of satellite tv for pc hyperlinks, adopted shortly by taxi, take-off, and touchdown procedures. Thus, it’s anticipated that the RG.1 will be capable of be seen orbiting the skies of Lincolnshire within the coming months.
A ceremony has been held at @RAFWaddington for the reformation of 31 Squadron, often known as the Goldstars.
31 Squadron will quickly be outfitted with the brand new Protector remotely piloted air system, which can provide the RAF a vastly improved armed ISTAR functionality. #rafwaddington pic.twitter.com/LTBAXBxPDC
— Royal Air Power (@RoyalAirForce) October 17, 2023