News story: New RAF Reapers take to the skies

The additional Reaper aircraft are flying from Kandahar Airfield to gather vital intelligence in support of Afghan, UK and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops on the ground.

The deployment of 5 new Reapers means there are now twice as many in Afghanistan, operating alongside the British Army’s Hermes 450 unmanned air systems.


An RAF Reaper is delivered, in kit form, for assembly at Kandahar Airfield [Picture: Sergeant Ross Tilly RAF, Crown copyright]

Reaper will play a vital role in securing internal security in Afghanistan once allied forces draw down from the country later this year.

Monitoring areas of interest for a considerable period of time, Reapers provide real-time feedback, allowing the ground crew to conduct a detailed assessment of any target and the environment they are operating in to minimise the risk of civilian casualties or unnecessary damage to property.

Although their primary role is gathering intelligence and providing surveillance and reconnaissance support to ground forces, Reaper can also be armed with laser-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles when the situation demands it.

In over 54,000 hours of operations using Reaper in Afghanistan, only 459 weapons have been fired, which is less than one weapon for every 120 hours of flying.


Unboxing the fuselage of an RAF Reaper at Kandahar Airfield [Picture: Sergeant Ross Tilly RAF, Crown copyright]

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:


These new aircraft give the RAF enhanced force protection capability in support of UK, ISAF and Afghan troops. As we focus on the drawdown of UK forces from Afghanistan, the ability to provide force protection will become increasingly important and Reaper allows us to provide this assurance remotely, and without significant ground presence.

Civilian contractors assembling an RAF Reaper at Kandahar Airfield [Picture: Sergeant Ross Tilly RAF, Crown copyright]

Air Commodore Al Gillespie, the Air Component Commander and Air Officer Commanding 83 Expeditionary Air Group, is responsible for the command and control of UK air assets over Afghanistan. He said:


These aircraft will support UK, ISAF and Afghan forces as they work to protect the people of Afghanistan. They provide vital intelligence and precise strike capability without putting our servicemen and women at risk.

As we drawn down from Afghanistan it is precisely this technology that will keep us one step ahead and allow us to combat internal security in the country.

A fully-assembled RAF Reaper at Kandahar Airfield [Picture: Sergeant Ross Tilly RAF, Crown copyright]

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Any idea what will become of all those MQ9s once they are eventually pulled out of Afghan ? Any chance of seeing them flying in/around Nigeria, Kenya or Somalia ?
 
Airfix porn!!!
 

2/51

LE
They will look good on a shelf somewhere once we pull out. Can't see this being something thats used that often.
 
They will look good on a shelf somewhere once we pull out. Can't see this being something thats used that often.
Wah...I hope!

They will be used...lots.

Regards,
MM
 
Had to do a double take there.When i first glanced at the thread title I thought it said 'RAF rapists take to the skies'.
 

2/51

LE
Wah...I hope!

They will be used...lots.

Regards,
MM
I think you have your wires crossed...I was refering to the fact that in 6 months time when we are "out" of Afghanistan, they will be stuck on a shelf somewhere back in the UK. I am sure they will be used lots in the next month.
 
It reads as if they are staying (under RAF command) after the draw down
I was only being flippant - it seems to make sense, I doubt we would want to give the Afghans UAVs. As seen in Iraq, the ISIS or similar will only come along and take over, so yeah, give them the live feed and the comms but keep the skills and technology in the UK (or US).

Do the "pilots" fly from Kandahar or the UK? Would we just keep ground crew on the ground in Afghanistan? Would they need RAF airfield defence (god help them)?
 


It really should have this logo on the side of the crate...



Rodney2q
 
Do the "pilots" fly from Kandahar or the UK? Would we just keep ground crew on the ground in Afghanistan? Would they need RAF airfield defence (god help them)?
If the "Reaper" is essentially only an R/C aircraft kit then perhaps they could get away with these to guard it...



Rodney2q
 


Civilian contractors assembling an RAF Reaper at Kandahar Airfield
Are these cnuts wearing trainers??? Has HSE not met civilian contractors - I have to wear full PPE and steelies just to visit the office at the power station, full fire retardant, hard hat, earplugs, high vis...
 
I was only being flippant - it seems to make sense, I doubt we would want to give the Afghans UAVs. As seen in Iraq, the ISIS or similar will only come along and take over, so yeah, give them the live feed and the comms but keep the skills and technology in the UK (or US).

Do the "pilots" fly from Kandahar or the UK? Would we just keep ground crew on the ground in Afghanistan? Would they need RAF airfield defence (god help them)?
flown from the hellhole that is lincs iirc,whilst wearing a flying suit a set of "wings" and getting flying pay no doubt
 
As MM has stated, they are used a lot. So much so you get bored watching them takeoff everyday, 24hrs a day.
 

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