Friday, February 8, 2013

Could RAF's Sentinel fleet escape retirement, says MoD

The UK Ministry of Defence is reviewing icts decision to remove the Royal Air Force's Bombardier Global Express-based monitoring Sentinel R1 aircraft from use in 2015, as the capability to mount military operations ongoing in Afghanistan and Mali.

The proposal to remove the synthetic aperture radar and ground moving target indication sensor-equipped fleet Sentinel and Its associated ground equipment was operating Among a number of controversial announcements Contained Within The coalition government's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) of September 2010.

Five of the Raytheon Systems-modified aircraft are Assigned to the RAF's 5 Sqn, based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. The MoD says two are currently on overseas deployments: one Supporting the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and the other for monitoring Providing ground Serval France's Operation in Mali. The lath is Being operated from Dakar in Senegal, Where the UK's open-ended contribution Sentinel Involves around 70 staff.

"The department is currently Considering how it might retain Sentinel beyond 2015, with the final decision to be taken as share of the next SDSR," minister of state for defense personnel, welfare and veterans Mark Francois Said in response to a parliamentary question on 6 February.

First indications at least That portion of the Sentinel capability Could be Retained Emerged in May 2012, NATO Said When France and the UK HAD to make contributions Offered in kind in supporting the future of Alliance Ground Surveillance system, Which will use a fleet of five radar -equipped Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicles.

The UK's Sentinel R1s Were Acquired via the MoD's Airborne Stand-Off Radar program, worth more than £ 1.2 billion ($ 1.9 billion), Including Support arrangements. The system was Formally Declared in service in November 2008.

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