UK’s Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin has announced £131.5 million support contract for RAF’s Sentinel surveillance aircraft.
The deal with Raytheon UK will provide the Sentinel aircraft with in-service support and maintenance, meaning it can continue to meet the RAF’s operational requirements. With the ability to gather intelligence on enemy movements and track specific targets, the Sentinel remains a key element in the UK’s operations against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, the UK MoD said in a statement Thursday.
Harriett Baldwin said, “Sentinel aircraft provide vital intelligence to our Armed Forces, giving them the ability to make decisions that helps keep Britain safe, including on current operations against Daesh.”
“As part of our £178 billion equipment plan, this contract is supported by a Defence budget that will rise every year until the end of the decade, meeting the NATO commitment to spend 2% of GDP on Defence,” Baldwin added.
The new contract will provide support for the aircraft for the next 5 years.
Chief Executive Officer of the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Tony Douglas, said, “This contract was required to deliver on the decision in the 2015 SDSR to extend this key airborne surveillance platform.”
The Sentinel fleet provides an ‘eye in the sky’ airborne mission management system that gives troops persistent, wide-area, all-weather surveillance. The aircraft uses air to ground search capabilities, by scanning areas from a safe distance to protect the Armed Forces in delivering actionable, accurate information. The aircraft have served on numerous operations, including Afghanistan and as part NATO operations in Libya in 2011.