Oct 5, 2015 (UPI)
Britain is to replace and double its fleet of remotely piloted aircraft and modernize equipment of its Special Forces.
The investment, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron, is part of the 2015 Strategic Defense and Security Review.
"In order to equip UK intelligence agencies and British Armed forces with the capabilities they need to keep the streets of Britain safe, the prime minister has announced that the RAF will replace the existing fleet of 10 Reaper aircraft with more than 20 of the latest generation of RPAS, which will be called Protector and will carry the very latest technology," the Ministry of Defensee said.
"With a greater range and endurance, the new Protector aircraft will dramatically increase the UK's ability to identify, track, deter and ultimately counter potential threats. Combined with the increase in the size of the fleet, this will substantially enhance the UK's global intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability.
For its Special Force, the Ministry of Defense said, new specialist weapons and clothing will be procured to ensure that the force "remains at the cutting edge of technology, giving them a clear advantage over enemies."
Additional details of the procurement of RPAs and Special Forces equipment was not elaborated upon.
The Reaper currently used by Britain is made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Cameron, who made the announcement in a newspaper interview, gave no information on the Protector RPA, including its manufacturer.
"The duty of the UK Government is to keep our country safe and we must do more as the threats we face evolve," said Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. "We must adapt and stay ahead of our enemies.
"This investment package will enhance our ability to address these sophisticated dangers both at home and abroad, allowing us to intervene with speed and precision to protect the people of the UK and our international partners."