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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2021, 13:44 
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Yes, we are grateful for it.

However, the amount and accessibility of 'viewing areas' has decreased over the years. Sometimes due to farmers no longer wanting increasing footfall on their land, the RAF has also become less keen on this photography of things and stuff and the police (both military and civil) are increasingly a source of discouragement at fencelines.
In many ways the invasion of everyone and his mate, using phone cameras, has spoilt the hobby for us old school photographers. Many phone snappy-snappers have no understanding of the ethics of the game and the manners that go with it.

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PostPosted: 03 Sep 2021, 12:37 
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What a splendid afternoon yesterday (Thursday 2 Sept) in the surrounds of RAF Waddington. No less than three passes by the latest version of the MQ-9 Reaper / Sky Guardian remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), itself being chased by what I presume was a heliborne photoshoot opportunity.
The MQ-9B will be known as the 'Protector RG Mk 1' in RAF service from 2024 - RG for Reconnaissance / Ground attack.

I will post more pictures once I've done some sorting and editing.

Image

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PostPosted: 03 Sep 2021, 17:35 
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Catch of the day! =D>


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2021, 09:22 
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As promised.

The following is a summarized extract from respected sources:
https://www.forces.net/news/raf-protector-what-aircraft-and-what-can-it-do
https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/mod-signs-65m-contract-for-protector-aircraft/

The RAF is to have 16 of the aircraft, which uses a design built on the existing General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone system. The Protector RG (Reconnaissance Ground attack) Mk1, the British and RAF specific variant of the MQ-9B drone system, is designed to reach heights of 40,000 feet with a payload of up to 4,800lbs (2,177kg).

It is due to enter service by mid-2024 and will be capable of being flown anywhere in the world while being operated by personnel located at its Lincolnshire home base.

The UK's first Protector RG Mk1 aircraft completed its inaugural flight in September 2020, taking to the skies in the US for its first round of test flights. The new aircraft are advanced Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS). It should [will] enhance armed Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities. It will also be the first RPAS to be designed, built and certified, against stringent NATO and UK safety certification standards equivalent to manned aircraft, allowing it to operate in civilian airspace, according to the RAF.

The Protector RG Mk 1 will be fitted with the battle proven Brimstone missile and laser-guided Paveway bomb systems and will use onboard sensors to avoid other aircraft. There are seven weapons stations on the drone, meaning a total of 21 Brimstone missiles could be carried. This means a significant uplift over the previously used Reaper, which could only carry four Hellfire missiles or two 500-pound laser-guided bombs.
Protector can fly consistently for up to 40 hours and will be deployed across a full spectrum of operations. The fleet will also have advanced anti-icing and lightning protection, providing the RAF with the flexibility to operate in adverse weather conditions.

The following pictures were taken by me when 'Droney boy' (local nickname) was being flown for a photoshoot over RAF Waddington. I tracked it on Flightradar24 as it flew out across the North Sea to the Dutch airbase at Leeuwarden in the morning and decided to chance my luck on its return to RAF Waddington. Heck, did I strike it lucky, watching three passes of the heliborne photoshoot, on the outskirts of Waddington. Result!

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Camera-ship AS355 Squirrel and the Protector

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Short finals into RAF Waddington

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Note the RAF specific maritime Radar under the fuselage and the retractable undercarriage

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Crossing the runway threshold

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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2021, 10:23 
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Very cool.
Is that an American registration, N190TC, or am I mistaken?


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2021, 11:20 
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Thank you.

American registration yes, until the system is taken into RAF service. It currently operates as the MQ-9B Sky Guardian, successor to the MQ-9A Reaper.

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2021, 07:04 
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Battle of Britain Anniversary - RAF Typhoon fly's the flag over the iconic white cliffs of the English south coast.

https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/ra ... niversary/

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Credit RAF

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Last edited by Tally-ho on 12 Oct 2021, 10:44, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2021, 23:19 
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Location: Whangarei, New Zealand
That's a fantastic paint job and photo!

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