The RAF is sending airmen to the US for training to support the operation of the massive MQ-9B drone

The RAF is sending airmen to the US for training to support the operation of the massive MQ-9B drone
Protector RG Mk 1 – Image: Disclosure / RAF


United Kingdom Air Force (RAF – Royal Air Force(or Royal Air Force) airmen from 31 Squadron have begun technical training for the Protector RG Mk1 (MQ-9B drone) at the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Desert Horizons facility in California, USA.

This is the second Protector Technician course for 31 Squadron personnel. It lasts 14 weeks and includes both academic and practical activities, bringing together mechanical, avionics and weapons technicians in a single technical profession.

According to the RAF, this ensures they can maintain the innovative Protector RG Mk1 Remotely Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) in operation. On completion of the training, they will become part of the growing 31, Protector UK testing and assessment system. Squadron – The RAF's First Defense Squadron.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to team up through training with our partners at General Atomics. These qualified technicians are at the forefront of technical careers in the RAF. They will be vital to introducing a game-changing RPAS capability to UK defence.31 Force Commander said.

With a suite of advanced equipment and precision strike weapons, Defender will provide critical armed surveillance capability and can deploy against adversaries around the world. Due to the “Sense and Aware” technology, the aircraft will be capable of flying over 30 hours in busy, undivided airspace.

The United Kingdom invests in 16 units of the Protector RG Mk 1 for the RAF. Waddington Air Base in Lincolnshire will be the headquarters, launch and recovery base supporting command and control for domestic training and overseas operations.

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RAF Information


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