In 2010 the UK government’s previous Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) announced its intention to “withdraw the Sentinel airborne ground surveillance aircraft once it is no longer required to support operations in Afghanistan.” Sentinel has supported the British Army in Afghanistan and allied efforts in Libya and other locations. This has now been reversed.

The SDSR states:

“Sentinel will be extended in service into the next decade; Shadow until at least 2030; and Sentry and Rivet Joint until 2035”

The Sentinel R1 is an airborne battlefield and ground surveillance aircraft and is operated by a RAF squadron manned by both air force and army personnel. The Sentinel is interoperable with other allied systems such as JSTARS and the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance system.


  1. Interesting that the Shadow fleet is also shown as 8 aircraft (currently it is 6) plus 14 C-130J will also be retained.

  2. I would think that with the miniaturerisation of electronics equip since the development of the the sr1 that it should be be possible to enable this a/c to carry out a large chunk of what the nimrod was used for in a maritime role.

  3. Great news, but does that mean the maritime p8a’s we are purchasing won’t be getting the ground surveillance upgrades? Better to have two separate solutions anyway. Or is that an entirely different solution?


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