Posted: Tue 24th Nov 2015

Deeside based Raytheon special missions aircraft facility handed a boost in UK Gov’s Defence Review

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Nov 24th, 2015

The Government handed Deeside based Raytheon a boost on Monday when it published the Strategic Defence and Security Review 

The lifespan of Raytheon’s Sentinel R1 fleet of surveillance aircraft is being extended from 2018 “into the next decade” the review says.

UK Government’s previous Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010 had previously announced its intention to “withdraw the Sentinel airborne ground surveillance aircraft once it is no longer required to support operations in Afghanistan”

The Sentinel R1, an airborne battlefield and ground surveillance aircraft operated by a RAF is bristling with the latest hi-tech enemy snooping equipment and is ‘kitted out’ at the Raytheon special missions aircraft facility in Broughton.

Along with the Sentinel RI, Raytheon’s Shadow R1 Beechcraft King Air turboprop based signals intelligence aircraft fleet will remain in service “until at least 2030”, states the review.

The RAF’s six-strong fleet of Shadow R1’s– five in service plus one trainer – on which details are rarely revealed, is listed as containing eight of the type by 2025, suggesting that an acquisition of two more will be made – notes flightglobal.com

 The turboprop Beechcraft King Air. Shadow R1 from 5(AC) Sqdn RAF Waddington

The turboprop Beechcraft King Air. Shadow R1 from 5(AC) Sqdn RAF Waddington

Raytheon announced last year it was reinvesting and expanding its Special Mission aircraft facility at its Broughton which will become the HQ for the Airborne Solutions business.

The £1m investment, which has been backed by Welsh Government business finance, enables the US owned company to expand its R&D activities in Deeside while creating 50 highly-skilled jobs.

The Sentinel programme has also enabled Raytheon UK to become the only all-British missions systems integrator based in North Wales, that can deliver end to end Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) for the UK armed forces.

Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami was delighted at the news, he said;

“This is fantastic news, the proposed [operational] extension will sustain the high-value skills built upon the success of the Sentinel programme at Broughton and will therefore create significant high-value jobs in Alyn and Deeside.”

Sentinel has been in service since 2009, with over 30,000 operational hours supporting concurrent military operations around the world, including Libya, Afghanistan, Mali, Nigeria and now Syria.

Key facts:

Raytheon Sentinel R1 is based on the Bombardier Global Express business jet.

The Sentinel (originally known as ASTOR, or Airborne STand-Off Radar) came about after the first Gulf War, which proved that effective aerial surveillance was an important part of winning modern battles.

Raytheon’s design to meet this standard was approved for production in December, 1999, with the aircraft first flying on May 26, 2004.

The Sentinel R1 entered service in 2008, and a total of 5 have been built.

These have been used in support of operations in Afghanistan and Libya, as well as in support of French troops in Mali.

The UK’s Strategic Defense and Security Review plans to retire the aircraft after their involvement in Afghanistan no longer requires it, and is planning to offer them to the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance programme.

Specifications:
Powerplant: two Rolls-Royce BR710 engines
Top speed: 570.9 mph
Range: 5,800 miles
Ceiling: 49,000 ft
Crew: 5
Empty weight: 54,000 lbs
Length: 99 feet 5 inches
Height: 27 feet
Wingspan: 93 feet 6 inches

Aircraft.wikia.com

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