Future of RAF MQ-9 Reaper post-Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by fantassin, Jun 30, 2013.

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  1. With the draw down of forces in Afghanistan and even though ISR is absolutely vital there and is likely to remain in situ quite late, has the MoD announced what it intends to do with its MQ-9s post 2014 ?

    Are they cleared to fly over the UK or is a Euro-Hawk type of issue coming your way because of flying restrictions against UAVs ?

    What are the chances of seeing RAF MQ-9s forward based in friendly nations in Africa for example ? (Kenya, against the Shebab springs quickly to mind)

    And if you do not know what to do with them, then there is always the ISR void called the Sahel.....


    Britain’s RAF Buying up to 10 MQ-9 Reaper UAVs
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  2. Add in integration of Brimstone to above. No point if its being binned.

  3. A couple of things to think about:

    Reaper operations depend on US owned comms links; so every task is subject to de-facto US oversight and approval.

    Single engined airframes won't be flying over urban areas in Europe any time soon, nor would Reaper be easy or cheap to certify to operate in civilian airspace at all. If you're happy with out of area ops and training only, crack on.

    What we should do is see how much of the expensive systems designed for WK can be reused in a more UK friendly airframe - but different services co-operating for the benefit of the UK ? Like that would ever happen.
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  4. o_O_t_S - I don't think we'll be spending much on anything and that's the point. I put the wrong bloody link in my post but have corrected it now. The Think Defence article and the comments seem accurate.

    Do we have contingency plans to rip out US comms kit and bung our own in? We'd not be worried about diplomacy if it gets to that stage. We may have done something similar in the past.

    Do we need urban ops or can we get away with using sims for the urban part? I have no idea of the budget available and future plans but am fairly confident that we aren't going to get more cash. Treasury will be calling the shots for some time and I don't believe cash is available for a new project.

    Reaper is a success and it is something that has been paid for, the sums are always going to drive procurement and unless a new a/c could deliver significant advantages it isn't going to happen. Even if it could off them it still isn't going to happen.
  5. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    can we use them for maritime patrolling?
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  6. Are you 100% positive of that?
    'Cos the Seps are using a hell of a lot of bandwidth on other people's assets for drone control generally, admittedly it may not be Reaper. I dunno.
  7. It was designed with shed loads of spare capacity for just this kind of situation - is it a successful PFI?
  8. We could get the UK cleared, keep the weapons off them and loan them and the operators to various police forces for a sum, MoD funding blackhole shrinking and operators get practice on real time ops! Just imagine nicking a car and seeing a reaper drone following you?
  9. And a £100 to the man in a dodgy suit.....
  10. Because the one we have aren't carrier capable and even if they were, we'd have to convert the carriers to cat and trap.

    Who didn't bother reading the 'Think Defence' link which even has a pretty pictcha

  11. I am starting to have dreams of regionalized ISR with FRA Reapers over NW Africa, RAF Reapers over the Boko Haram infested areas of Nigeria and in support of the kenyans against the Shebab and US Reaper covering the "rest" (like Libya)...just the ticket if you ask me but not necessarily the right time to mention it in those Prism times.....
  12. Reapers are the 21st century answer to the colonial gunboats of the 1880's.

    They allow us to patrol the fuzzies on the cheap, and if the fuzzies get rowdy, they can carry out a cheap, effective and painless punitive raid.
  13. Of course not, it's TD, they make us look sane.