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British training system goes into service

LONDON, June 11 (UPI) -- British Defense Ministry officials say the first elements of a new unmanned subsonic aerial target training system are now in service.

The first two elements of the Combined Aerial Target Service training system, the Banshee and the pop-up helicopter target, are now in service. Officials say CATS, provided under a more than $686 million contract with QinetiQ, enables "ground-based air defense training for the Army, anti-air warfare training for the Royal Navy, and air-to-air training for the Royal Air Force," the British Ministry of Defense said.

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The Banshee, with a wingspan of more than 8 feet, is subsonic target for surface-to-air live weapon training, and the pop-up uses a telescoping platform to simulate tactical helicopter threats.

"CATS provides an excellent example of the work that Ministry of Defense is engaged with on a daily basis to ensure that our forces have outstanding, state-of-the-art training facilities, helping them to carry out their war-fighting role effectively," Baroness Ann Taylor, minister for defense equipment and support, said in a statement.

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