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Britain inks $268m deal for 13 more Protector drone aircraft

By
Zarrin Ahmed
Britain has invested $268 million for another 13 Protector drone aircraft, Defense Minister Jeremy Queen announced Thursday during a visit to the GKN Aerospace. Photo courtesy of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems
Britain has invested $268 million for another 13 Protector drone aircraft, Defense Minister Jeremy Queen announced Thursday during a visit to the GKN Aerospace. Photo courtesy of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems

July 22 (UPI) -- Britain has invested $268 million for another 13 Protector aircraft, Defense Minister Jeremy Queen announced Thursday during a visit to GKN Aerospace, a press release stated.

Protector is a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System equipped with surveillance equipment and precision strike weapons.

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The aircraft were ordered from General Atomic Aeronautical Systems and, along with three others, are expected to start service by mid-2024. Britain also invested in four ground control stations and associated support equipment.

"Our fleet of sixteen Protector aircraft equipped with ultra-modern technology will provide the RAF with a vast global reach allowing us to monitor and protect the battlespace for hours on end," Quin said during the visit.

The move is supported by a $33 billion funding of the defense budget and outlined in the Defense Command Paper.

The first three aircraft were ordered last year for a total of $81 million.

Two are complete so far and are undergoing test and evaluation in the United States. They will replace Britain's current fleet of Reaper drones.

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