UK Protector UAV Programme
Acontract has been signed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) for development of the UK’s new Protector unmanned air vehicle. The agreement will have GA-ASI develop its current UAV technology into the new ‘Protector’, which will be along with Brimstone 2 missiles and Paveway IV laser-guided bombs. The type is expected to enter service with the Royal Air Force in 2021. Earlier, approval was granted for the Foreign Military Sale to the UK of up to 26 General Atomics Certifiable Predator B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), plus equipment, training and support, at an estimated cost of $ 1 billion. The RAF’s current fleet of ten MQ-9A Predators will be replaced by the Protector.