A Royal Air Force Sentinel R1 surveillance aircraft, the entire fleet of which will soon be sold off, was this morning operating over Central Iraq as part of Operation Shader.
Operation Shader began six years ago on the 9 August 2014, when the Royal Air Force began a series of humanitarian air aid drops onto Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq. You can read more about it from the Royal Air Force at this link.
Open Source Intelligence Twitter account SkyWatcher Intel is following the Sentinel aircraft, if you don’t follow them then I’d suggest you go do that now.
— Sierra Alpha (@skywatcherintel) December 22, 2020
This comes not long after it was announced that Sentinel would finally be sold off after many reprieves. You can find out more about the sale by visiting the article below.
What does Sentinel do?
The aircraft, described on the Royal Air Force website as “the most advanced long-range, airborne-surveillance system of its kind in the world”, provides long-range, wide-area battlefield surveillance, delivering intelligence and target tracking information to British forces.
The aircraft has been operationally deployed in support of operations in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali, and was recently deployed in support of British and Coalition operations in Iraq and Syria as well as surveillance operations near the Russian border.