Read More: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /28408303/PARIS — Britain is exploring with France a joint training effort for pilots and procurement of the Reaper, reflecting an intense use of the surveillance drone in Africa and the Middle East, said British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.
The UK and France both operate the General Atomics Reaper, with the British Royal Air Force flying armed versions of the drone against Islamic State insurgents in Iraq. France recently received a third Reaper.
"I specifically want to talk to Minister Le Drian today about Reaper UAV capacity," Fallon told journalists here. "There is bottleneck on training drone pilots and we're all short of drones.
"We have 10, they're out on service at the moment, each one of them. We don't have spare capacity to allocate anywhere else. Maybe there is much we could do there in common, either in the training or the procurement."
The possible Anglo-French cooperation could include training, personnel, logistics and support features.
A joint support for the Reaper was discussed among European Union defense ministers two weeks ago, Fallon said. The medium altitude, long endurance UAV is being flown in Niger, Chad, Libya and the Middle East.
France received a third MQ-9 Reaper, less than two months after the contract was awarded, General Atomics said May 29. The first two Reapers flown by the French Air Force have accumulated more than 4,000 flight hours since deployment in January 2014.
France is looking very carefully at the Watchkeeper tactical UAV system, a senior British official said. "They've got a procurement process but it's fair to say Watchkeeper is a strong candidate," the official said.
Watch it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02wmp155 live Daily's exclusive tour of the RAF base where British aircrews sit in metal cabins on the ground, watching and attacking targets thousands of miles away.
They're the crew of Reaper, the unmanned aircraft currently targeting so-called Islamic State in Iraq and performing surveillance duties in Syria.
Some refer to these planes as "drones" but the Ministry of Defence prefers to describe them as remotely piloted air systems RPAS - or Reaper.
Adrian Chiles is the first member of the media to be allowed inside the headquarters since the UK started surveillance and attack missions against IS last year.
This clip is from 5 live Daily 9 July 2015.
shark bait wrote:
Reaper developed to launch souobouy, awaiting flight trials.
Soon UK reaper's could have,
Sea spray radar
External fuel tanks
National airspace clearance
And sounobouy Despenser
With all of that it starts to sound like a worthy low cost complement in the future MPA solution. Almost certainly being developed with the UK in mind.
If the reaper could be operated from on board the P8 you shorten the information chain and could create a very interesting system. No only would that be of benifits in the MPA domain, but also over land. A P8 could identify and track a target, and then guide a reaper in to take it out, all in one aircraft.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... um=twitter
jonas wrote:Really ? I would have thought it would be the other way around. Reaper would drop the buoys,relay the info back to P8 who would then take on the contact. That is unless you have information that says the Reaper has the technology to carry out ops with torpedo's, or in fact anything else ASW wise other than buoys.
ArmChairCivvy wrote:The possibility to re-role Reapers between maritime surveillance and strike/ overland ISR in a 12-hr time frame is quite promising
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -9-417133/
What is said in the article about increased external fuel and lengthened wing with extra internal fuel tallies up well with the USAF Reaper ER development and fielding steps. Further, there is an, albeit old, confirmation that the Brimstone integration is being worked on within the US Big Safari Programme (they are the ones who armed the Predators/ Reapers in the first place, turning a pure surveillance mission into a combination with strike).
http://aviationweek.com/defense/uk-look ... reaper-uav
If you take these developments, together with
- the agonising over the unit cost of P8s (that can also persecute, not just find)
- the possibility to quickly re-roll Reapers between over-land and maritime
- the increased endurance coming with new Reaper versions
- and the coming doubling of the so (broadly) named UK fleet
... it would all make sense
bobp wrote:Was wondering how much a new Reaper purchase would cost. The air vehicles are only about 10 million each. Ok that doesn't include additional sensors, spares, ground stations, manuals, ground equipment but it seems like a reasonable purchase, hopefully the government will provide extra funding for it rather than it coming from the core defence spending.
Gabriele wrote:is the most recent: price for them, the GCS and related equipment and spares
shark bait wrote:Which works out to be £25.5 Million
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