RAF drones would now operate in Afghanistan from British soil

RAF drones would now operate in Afghanistan from British soil

Waddington : United Kingdom | Apr 26, 2013 at 1:07 AM PDT
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The Reaper drones of Britain had, till now, flown from the Creech air force base in Nevada but soon these would begin to operate from a British base.

The task of operating these unmanned missile-equipped aircraft in Afghanistan has been taken over by an RAF squadron that had been born in 1915.

It is the XIII Squadron, based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that operations from have started.

However, the American connection would not be totally severed because, in order to maintain a 24-hour coverage, Nevada has to also be involved due to the time differences.

The tasks of this squadron are to extend support to the ISAF and Afghan ground troops in Afghanistan with armed intelligence and surveillance missions.

The drones would be primarily be used for surveillance missions but they are armed with precision guided missiles like Hellfires for use in any emergency.

At present, UK holds five Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - also known as remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) - and Prime Minister David Cameron had confirmed in 2010 that the fleet would be augmented.

Source : news.sky.com

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MQ-9 Reaper drone
MQ-9 Reaper drone (courtesy wikimedia)
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