The first set of V-tails manufactured by GKN Aerospace on the Isle of Wight has been fitted to one of 16 new Protector aircraft destined for the Royal Air Force.

According to a news release from the RAF, GKN Aerospace now manufactures the V-tails for all MQ-9B aircraft variants which are manufactured by General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems-Inc (GA-ASI) at a facility in California.

The MQ-9B aircraft will be known as Protector once it enters RAF service by mid-2024.

The RAF add that Protector will be deployed in wide-ranging Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) operations where its ability to fly consistently for up to 40 hours, offers the RAF vastly improved armed ISTAR capability.

Michelle Sanders, Remotely Piloted Air Systems Delivery Team Leader, was quoted as saying:

“This milestone demonstrates the continued progress being made on this important programme which will provide the RAF with a cutting-edge capability.  As well as equipping the UK Armed Forces for operations now and into the future, this key programme promotes prosperity in the UK and supports highly-skilled jobs.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Louis
Louis
1 month ago

With Janes reporting that the Government will look over the MODs aircraft procurement programmes, I hope there is a chance we get at least some of the additional 10, especially after seeing the effectiveness of the TB2 in Ukraine.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Louis

The war in Ukraine is really showing the effectiveness of relatively cheap systems, from anti-tank to drones, against high-value items like tanks and aircraft. There’s a place for both on the battlefield, but these are a great leveller for nations attacked by much larger neighbours.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

That makes me think we should keep a very close eye on Argentina, and not dismiss them so readily

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

Argentina could certainly use drones to wage asymmetric attacks against U.K. forces stationed in the Falklands. But without conventional capabilities they currently lack, that’s the most they could achieve.

John Stevens
John Stevens
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Also having Sky Sabre based in the Falklands now.. Adds extra potent – defensive capabilities.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  John Stevens

My understanding is the one theyve sent to Poland is the one that was to be deployed to the Falklands as its the first and only battery to be delivered so far.

John Stevens
John Stevens
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Oh Ok.. Had not realised. I read recently about there already being Sky Sabre in the Falklands. So, fair enough. Will be a huge plus when the system is deployed to the islands.

Adrian Newman
Adrian Newman
1 month ago
Reply to  John Stevens

A Battery has more than one ‘platform’ of Sky Sabre. There is one Battery fully equipped with Sky Sabre and one Det to Poland so far with more to be deployed as and when. The System in the Falklands is still there. The Det/troop operating it is crewed on a rotation deployment.

michael jutton
michael jutton
28 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Newman

Hi Adrian. Thanks for the information.

michael jutton
michael jutton
28 days ago
Reply to  michael jutton

oops, sorry. Was not to me. Interesting anyway.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Against drones the 30mm cannon on the River would be fine? Shoulder launched stuff and Star Streak can do that job more than effectively. I agree Argentina can make trouble but they have nothing to back it up with. Russia has mountains of ancient equipment. Argentina Tina does t even have the sealift capability to get anything to the Falklands in a contested space. QEC and T45 are light years ahead of what was there is ‘82. I know someone will pop up and say not enough F35B – true ish but we have about the same number of F35B… Read more »

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

Agreed.

I always find it funny that the same people who often deride the F35B also praise the Harriers from ‘82, despite the fact the F35B is far superior in every way.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

The reason I deride the F35B is that we have the wrong version – and considering we were the level 1 partner, to only be acquiring a very small number of the niche variant is a shocking waste of the resources we put into the project; to have such a short range and weight restricted version as the RAF’s primary strike aircraft is not good enough – and it is embarrassing considering even many small countries.are taking the A.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

How many countries that are taking the A variant can operate them from an aircraft carrier?

Im sure the F35B has a longer range than an F18, so does that make the F18 a shocking waste of resources and a niche aircraft?

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  James

I do agree that the F35B has a longer range than the old F18….unless of course you’re really old fashioned and use that hideously outdated nonsense called ‘maths’ and see that 2000km is a bigger distance than 1700km (who would do that?)…and then one might be really cruel to your argument and add to that the the US carriers can launch refuelling aircraft, and deploy EW and AEW aircraft from their carriers…..oh and of course, the C variant….not to mention as of 2021the Super Hornet which has an even longer range and larger payload. And then you realise that it… Read more »

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

An F35B with a Storm Shadow type weapon has the range to cover the far reaches of Europe from the UK.
Range is relative if you are playing top trumps.
Many NATO airforces will use the A as their only fast jet. Not so for the RAF, the combo of Typhoon and B seems adequate
Buying A would hurt Tempest.
Tempest will add another level of capability.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  David

If you read the stats and all the impressive details about the Tempest, I think the key figure is 2035 – that isn’t the range, it isn’t the speed, it isn’t even the solution of the Kutta Joukowski equation for the amount of lift generated by the wings – it is the currently stated in service year. So even at the most optimistic estimates we have a compromise we have to live with (survive through?) for 13 years. Why do we need a stealth aircraft to launch our missiles, if they are doing it from UK airspace, would could use… Read more »

Bleeding Obvious
Bleeding Obvious
1 month ago
Reply to  James

If you wanted to operate from a carrier you’d buy the C variant???

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  James

I have always thought the UK should always have had the majority of our fighters marine capable. We are the guardians of the Western approaches to Europe along with the French. The opportunities for Drones on the carriers are greatly increased seeing what the Ukrainians have achieved. Quite scary actually. The need for home defence against ballistic missiles and drones is massively heightened.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

Thankfully our military leaders who are the experts think differently and decided to buy the B. The A is of no use to the CSG.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

And the B is of next to no use to the RAF as a strike aircraft – but it is what is has got*. Also the ‘expert’ military leaders think 22 surface warships, 20,000 infantry and roughly 100 serviceable fighter aircraft are plenty for the world we’re living in…..I’m so glad we have the ‘experts’ to look after us….what would we do if we were controlled by penny pinching fools who think a major war is at least 25 years away? Myself, I can’t imagine a big war happening for at least 40 or 50 years, nothing on the horizon,… Read more »

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

And your qualifications to replace the Chief of the Defence Staff are…? Thought so, I think we’ll stick with Radakin.

The B is better as a strike aircraft than any 4th generation strike aircraft there is. It’s not as good as the A, but then the A is totally useless with regards to deployability from a carrier. So when it comes to flexibility the B is superior.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Right you are then – we’ll stick with the MASSIVE cuts, HUGE gaps in capability. It is funny, one thing that is never cut is the pay and bonuses given to senior MOD staff….in fact they often get a raise every time they nod through a cut to our armed forces…no doubt Radakin will be onto a nice little earner when AJAX is cancelled with no replacement, and he tell us it was never really needed. And do you want to tell the USAF to ditch their laughable A version, or should I? You’ve convinced me, surely 100 Bs would… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

I don’t agree re the B variant David, it’s a good fit for the Royal Navy, the RAF is drooling over Tempest and will happily unload the F35B’s onto the FAA when they get their hands on them. When we add the various UAV’s to the carrier, adding loyal wingmen adding AAR and AEW, then the shortcomings of the B will largely be mitigated. I agree it’s a bad fit as a Tornado GR4 replacement, (it’s simply had to fill the gap as the GR4 was simply withdrawn), but I have hopes of an advanced top up Thypoon order! I… Read more »

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

But you are actually reinforcing my point – the Tempest is more than a DECADE away – we could be in a real shooting war by supper time tonight; I don’t think there is another credible military in the world that allows such gaps….and as we’ve seen in the past, once a gap has been there for long enough, the politicians say “Well, it obviously isn’t needed”. I’m actually genuinely surprised we got the P8s – I thought that gap had been there long enough; but look at bombers, long range SAMs, anti ship missiles….actually this could be a very… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

We don’t necessarily have to rebuild to Old Cold War levels, our current equipment is vastly superior to the capabilities of the late 1980’s services. The RAF dosent need 30 plus fast jet squadrons anymore. That said, 7 Fast Jet squadrons in the RAF is frankly ridiculous and that’s in reality massaging the numbers! It’s absolutely scandalous in fact and most of general public are blissfully unaware that the RAF has been utterly gutted of offensive fast jest capability… The RAF of 2035 should have 12 Fast Jet squadrons, comprising of advanced Thypoon and a rolling replacement programme with Tempest.… Read more »

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

The Tempest is unlikely to be US nuke capable.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

We don’t really require that capability anyway Dave, unless we are going back to the business of tactical nuclear weapons, like the old WE177.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

The ability to deliver battlefield tactical nukes is a NATO requirement, it is why the Germans are to buy the F35.
The only tactical nukes available are owned by the US..

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hi John. An immediate practical steps should be the reversal of the pending Tranche 1 Typhoon cuts!

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Absolutely agree Klonkie, it’s an obvious immediate step! What’s also needed is an order for 60 additional advanced Typhoons, to bulk up the numbers and the tranche 2 and 3’s all brought up to the same standard. At the same time put billions more into Tempest development and really pull out the stops…. This and affirm a total order for 100 F35B, get a steady drum beat of 12 a year and get four squadrons operational. All in all, I would like to see a sense of urgency and purpose within the MOD, to stop the rot and and steadily… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

I think because they have invested in 100,000 ton aircraft carriers. If we hurried up with a stand off attack missile for the F35B its problem solved. Anything with a 500 mile range will be OK for some time.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

There were occasions when the weather was so bad Phantoms and Buccs would not have been able to operate, the Sea Harriers had no problem with the weather.
The seas did get a bit rough down there.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

The USMC think differently and they are gearing up for the peer fight with China. Dispersed operations where long fixed runways will get hammered. Worried about range. Refuelling drones cure that as do hot fuel and weapon sites as the RAF has practised in Norway. Ukraine has perhaps shown that Kalibr and Iskander type weapons are going to hurt airfields. I suspect the Ukraine airforce is currently using the Mig 29s rough field capability on small regional airstrip and roads. F-35B allows carrier flights and integration with the USMC. Ukraine is also showing that Typhoon , with Radar 2 and… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Imagine a flight of 12 Typhoons all releasing 16 Spear3 each in a war similar to the ongoing Ukrainian invasion, coupled with Radar 2, they could effectively cripple an armoured Division in a single strike … A few follow up ops and an entire Division would effectively be reduced to scrap!

The full potential of Typhoon is about to be unleashed, hopefully increased funding should see this happening across the board.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

One of the reasons why we have the F35b is we are entrusted to patrol the north Atlantic gap from Greenland Iceland to Sweden. No other carrier can launch planes and land them safely in a high sea state then what we can which proved it’s point in the Falklands with harrier. Conventional carriers can only operate in low sea states where as our can handle a bit more of the rough stuff better. The North Atlantic and Baltic are not calm seas. No use having faster, longer range more heavily armed fighters on deck if you can’t launch them… Read more »

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

I think you have been misinformed there, the weather window for launching and recovering the STOVL aircraft is probably narrower that that for a CATOBAR aircraft….and let’s face it 100,000 tons sits better in the water than 65,000 tons anyway. And as for the US Navy being jealous of our carriers, that is beyond risible, when they have 11 full size Nimitz class (well 10 and 1 Gerald Ford) and they have 8, soon to be 11, assault ships that carry the F35B. If they saw ANY benefit in our class of carries, don’t you think they would have cancelled… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

There’s not a massive difference in seakeeping between a 72,000 ton ( full load QE displacement) carrier and a 100,000 ton carrier David..

It’s a fact they launched and recovered Sea Harriers from mountainous Seas in the Falklands War, in sea states that would have kept CATBAR carriers out of the fight.

In fact, I believe in certain NATO exercises off Norway in the 1980’s, it was an invincible class that covered a task group with a Nimitz class non operational, due to sea conditions.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I guess the US Navy just wish they had more experience with naval aviation such that would have taught they that they need smaller diesel powered aircraft carriers with a an air wing of 36 aircraft of the same type instead of the unlimited range and 90 aircraft of multiple types their useless, amateur hour nuclear aircraft carriers give them… And I hate to get petty (more petty) but a ‘short ton’ isn’t a different measure coded for when a ship is laden, it is a completely different measurement – metric v imperial: in short tons the Nimitz class is… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

Morning David, I’m afraid you’re gone to live with the fairies at the bottom of the Garden, if you think the UK could ever have afforded to ( or indeed wanted) a Nimitz class Carrier, it’s far beyond anyone but the US to own and operate. If you are using the CATBAR model with the Falklands then you are using the old Ark Royal, she carried 14 Buccaneers and 14 Phantoms, I doubt the degrading availability of this small force in harsh and ongoing combat operations would have exceeded the capability of the Sea Harriers. The QE class is a… Read more »

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

It’s funny the French have a nuclear powered CAT O BAR (that little O you don’t seem to know exists is a bit like the short ton thing) carrier…and are building another one. And we don’t operate 2 QE class, not independently – we don’t have the ships to defend ONE on are own. Which is as maybe you might think, but think again, we’d need to French, Dutch or whoever to support us in another operation like the Falklands, do you think that would happen – why would France put their service personnel in harms way for a few… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by David_s
John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

Well kitty does have claws🤣 You do seem to be an angry man David, perhaps turn down the sarcasm and we can have a pleasant debate…

Did your school report say ” Does not play well with others” by any chance?

Have a little enthusiasm for the future, it might actually get properly funded….

Have a lovely day, enjoy the sunshine.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I don’t play well with people like you, who don’t know anything but just keep on insisting that you have something to say. I’ve seen our armed forces decimated by compromise after compromise after compromise – and the then carriers, with no independent operational capability, and which hamstring our air force, come along, and because they are big, and look nice in photographs, people think that this country is back in the game….when in fact we are further out of it, much further out of it. We are buying fewer F35s (and the compromised version*) than Korea, Australia, Finland, Italy… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

“I don’t play well with people like you, who don’t know anything but just keep on insisting that you have something to say.”

Excellent, hilarious when all you state is the bleeding obvious ‘same old’ in the next paragraph!

It would appear you sir have nothing new to add to the conversation.

You might like to repeat the first paragraph into a mirror 😉

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

CATBAR ‘Catapult Barrier’ launched and recovered. Yep, makes no sense whatsoever…..

Myself and many defence publications, including Jane’s, must do better….

Is the ‘O’ for a potential Irish Navy Carrier?😉👍

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Short ton boy, It is “Catapult Assisted Take-Off Barrier Assisted Recovery*” – It is CATOBAR EVERYWHERE the technology is discussed, by people with an IQ above the square root of -1. (Congratulations to you though for having an IQ that can be represented by the imaginary unit i….that is why the school you attended had ‘special’ in its name, after all) You were actually on the internet as you typed your drivel, does even spending 0.2 of femtosecond opening a new tab and doing your research, or just checking, seem totally unreasonable, or do you like to look a fool?… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

I’ve seen big mouths come and go, I dare say you will be no different David.

You are a very angry man, I hope you get the help you clearly need, NHS mental health services is a good place to start.

Have a lovely weekend David.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

CATBAR – did you google it, short ton? Or are you just going to leave it there? (Just a little note – no one else reading this forum will google it…..because anyone with one iota of knowledge of defence matters knows the acronym CATOBAR…there are probably Amazon tribesman as yet untouched by human civilisation who know it is CATOBAR). I see the jokes have stopped though, do you still think that the Irish navy are getting carriers, and the US and French navy like downing shots with tabbies…or have I educated you? Let me be explicit you have ZERO knowledge… Read more »

Edwin
Edwin
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Not reasoned
argument

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

The Falklands War proved that STOVL can launch and recover in sea states that CATOBAR cannot. Fact.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Not fact. The RN Carriers were 20,000 ton ships, the US CATOBAR carriers are 5x that displacement. You can see online videos of US Naval aircraft being launched and recovered in very high sea, on the edge of hurricanes. But also, what CATOBAR carriers were there at the time, whose flight operations were restricted? I don’t mean to use a nasty thing like logic, but if I were to run a mile in the rain, would that inform you anything about Terry Mulhouse of San Diego’s ability to do the same? For it to be PROOF – you would have… Read more »

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

Oh give off.

The B variant suits the UK’s defence needs fine. We don’t need the A variant, but we do need to have planes for our carriers.

And most countries in world aren’t getting any fifth gen aircraft. So knock that off too.

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

F35 currently being sold to 15 countries, with 12 further possible exports – add to that China, Russia and India, who have developed their own – when you asses that there are currently 20 countries considered highly developed economies in the world – most countries that have schools and fire stations will have or be getting 5th gen aircraft, and a few more besides.

And we have an aircraft with compromised range and payload, because the government decided on two carriers we don’t have anywhere near enough other ships to defend.

Aaron L
Aaron L
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

I’m guessing by the Russians developing their own you mean the SU-57, with an amazing fourteen airframes built and only four of those being serial production models? Then their is the SU-75 Checkmate which is a private venture by Sukhoi to try and get some export orders. Chinese are doing better with their J-20 mind if the estimates of 120 airframes in service is correct. On the Indian front, I guess you mean the HAL AMCA. Not sure if you’ve looked too closely at the design but it has a striking resemblance to the F-35. Not sure what your attitude… Read more »

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  Aaron L

“…did you not get enough hugs as a child?” – Seems to be some kind of stock reply from people who can’t formulate a coherent argument or express themselves properly. You’ve been unable to rebut ANYTHING I have said, so you decide to conclude your comment with something that would be embarrassing if you’d added it in a discussing about ‘I’m a Slebirtty’ on the Daily Star website.

I am not suggesting you start reading A J Ayer- but at least make some attempt to up your game with regard to formulating and communicating what ideas you may have.

Aaron L
Aaron L
1 month ago
Reply to  David_s

Nothing about the points I made regarding the Russian, Chinese and Indian aircraft then?

Just choosing to jump to my fairly juvenile (by my own admission) comment at the end of my response?

David_s
David_s
1 month ago
Reply to  Aaron L

Your juvenile comment summed up what you had to say perfectly, it is a heuristic: in discourse any one who would feel the need to conclude in such a manner, is necessarily qualifying their contribution to the debate (or lack thereof). Merely stating that that some countries are at slightly different stages of production of 5th gen aircraft, does nothing to rebuff that fact that many many nations are going to be equipped with such aircraft, which was the point I was making – the post I was respoinding to was trying to suggest that by having 5th gen aircraft… Read more »

Bleeding Obvious
Bleeding Obvious
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

The beauty of the Harrier was it’s simplicity. Hardly an argument you could level at the F35B. Plus, being 60 years on, It should be technically far superior (has a nice price tag to match!)

Dave12
Dave12
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Unless China investment, watch this space.

T George Elliott
T George Elliott
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

What arrogance! Improving something that’s proven is easy, only the British have brains to innovate….then US take over claiming their Genius

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

You’re sooooo funny! You should be on tv! 🤣

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago

Against drones the 30mm cannon on the River would be fine?

Not against a TB2 class and some even some lighter ones. Not enough ceiling for the 30mm gun. You need a 76mm or at worse a 57mm. Even a Bofors is limited.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

True

Once you are getting as high as the limits of 76mm the targeting, even with fragmentation fields is going to be ‘interesting’

I’d be surprised if it’s operational envelope for engagement was that high given the likely electronics fit.

David
David
1 month ago

You need a radar to actually spot and track these low speed drones made of composite material that will have low RCS.
The Russians seem to have difficulty, it’s not clear an RN River would fare better , even a frigate.
Energy jammers and laser weapons on a warship are being deployed at sea and land.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  David

I’d be confident NS100, Artisan or Sampson would pickup a drone.

I agree EW is the way forwards.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

The BAe/Bofors 57mm may be the ideal solution. It is cheaper than the Strales 76mm and weighs half as much. Perhaps more significantly is that with the Alamo guided rounds, they will have a better effective range than the comparable DART. Both the Alamo and DART are sabot rounds, but the Alamo is also rocket assisted. Although not given great detail. Both systems use semi-active radar homing along with command guidance. It remains to be seen if semi-active homing would provide enough reflection against a target like the TB2? Where the majority of the radar pulse passes through the target,… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

Might be adequate for something so slow, but it’s not an AA weapon & has a desperately low rate of fire. Any of the dedicated LAA gun systems would be far better & also cover all the capabilities of the 30mm.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank62
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

We were discussing slow low sophistication drones?

Not shooting down supersonic aircraft?

Ian Brown
Ian Brown
1 month ago

Yes, I agree S.B, from the point of view of the land forces, there’s far more than simple dug in positions. I was in the hinterland when out visiting the Benny’s as OC on one or two yomps around the place over two tours. It would now take a much larger force far more technical than what those over the water have to dislodge the FIG.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Do they have the electronic means to operate them at such distances from the mainland?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Sat-phone data?

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Probably, but it in terms of AI and ML it wouldn’t require much to take-off, fly a roundabout route to target, attack and then return, along with a degree of situational awareness to try and survive defensive systems encountered on route.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

To make it semi autonomous, as you suggest, would be require a high degree of software sophistication.

Judging by the Tesla I drive, the drone would get half way there and the software would bin out and return to driver…..

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

TBH that kind of autonomy is pretty much off the shelf these days, we have similar capabilities built into missiles and commercial aircraft for years. The biggest hurdle would by adding capability to take evasive action when required.
You might want to get your Tesla checked out. Though actually autonomy for a road vehicle is far more difficult than an air vehicle. Far more possibilities for contention with other vehicles etc. As perhaps shown by the fact Elon’s rockets are fully autonomous whereas his cars are still several levels away.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

All the Teslas do the same – we have several at work even their loaners!

Yes, it was the intelligent interaction to threats or sensors that I was referring to.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

Well there’s two directions to go with the drones:
• cheap and without the ability to react to threats, but plentiful due to their cost and attacking in swarms to overwhelm defences due to volume
• expensive and able to evade or engage threats, but few in number.

I suspect Argentina would go for the former option.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago

We shouldn’t take our eyes off anyone I agree. The only way back for Argentina is the diplomatic route but that is forlorn. The Falkland islanders won’t vote for union with Argentina. Militarily the Argentines can be a nuisance but mounting an invasion? I think not. But ‘gaming’ how Argentina might attack the Falklands would be a good exercise scenario, applicable to other such situations.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

It may be getting more complicated as Argentina and China are in discussions over fishing licences. Argentina do not recognize the FI jurisdiction, so may offer licences to Chinese vessels to fish Falkland’s waters. How will China react to having their fishing vessels arrested for illegally fishing in FI waters. They were talking about setting a joint naval facility, which would definitely complicate matters. Which means that more just one OPV will be required to police the waters.

Albert Starburst
Albert Starburst
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

…and looking on Shipfinder there often seems to be plagues of fishing vessels in/just outside Falklands waters.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

They need MPA. Without it, they fail. As the UK would reinforce.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 month ago

I don’t know what Argentina has in its weapons inventory, but could that not he reasonably easily achieved with a cruise missile strike destroying the runway? (Assuming MPA is referring to RAF Mount Pleasant)

Last edited 1 month ago by Levi Goldsteinberg
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Yes, MPA Mount Pleasant.

You’d think they’d want it intact themselves to fly in reinforcements.

Runways can be repaired too, depending on damage, so a cruise strike would not be guaranteed, even assuming it evaded Sky Sabre.Our RE have a regiment specialising in this and other air support tasks.

Terence Hewett
Terence Hewett
1 month ago

Especially now that China is expressing an interest.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

And China looking for Argentine bases for their aircraft & navy to exert concessions & control over the Falklands, dependancies, Southern S Atlantic & Antarctic.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

I agree.

This is why some urgency is require in UK defence.

Russia isn’t the biggest threat: China is. China has loads more money and people as well as global ambitions for mischief making.

Dave12
Dave12
1 month ago

Also Argentina have been getting into bed with China there was some sort of agreement between the two last month .

Stc
Stc
1 month ago

I as sure Protector is very sophisticated and will be a welcome asset, but let’s not forget the woefully low number of fighter jets the RAF have. The Ukraine and Armenia wars highlight that the RAF need a good number of cheap disposable lethal drones because it does seem that militaries with large numbers of tanks cannot afford the expensive sophisticated systems to protect them, nor can they train and maintain the personal to operate them. Maybe the US are the exception, but for the UK medium size, but extremely well equipped forces, seems to be the goal. Quite a… Read more »

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

If only we had followed on and actually produced Mantis.

Liam
Liam
1 month ago

The UK needs to mass produce some homegrown cheap drones. Leaving aside their apparent effectiveness in Ukraine, it would be a good addition to our industrial base.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago

A TB2 drone sank a Russian landing ship today, and damaged two others. A first.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I read a Ukrainian ballistic missile (possibly OTR-21 Tochka) hit a landing ship this morning. Do you know if the drone is a separate strike or an update on what really hit it?

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

That was Twitter speculation – UKR mil say it was a drone https://twitter.com/sentdefender/status/1507015282467885068?s=20&t=HzF96z6xcnAtOsrY2Ezgwg

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Wow, they must of got lucky with that hit from an unguided missile. I think it has a range between 15-120km and a cep of 90m. I don’t know what version the Ukrainians are using.
Russian casualties have been put 15,000 to 40,000. I don’t know how long Russia can keep going with numbers like that in 4 weeks.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

And to muddy things more, I also read that the dock where the Orsk was sat was pre surveyed by the UKR artillery and MLRS got it after the Russians themselves announced its arrival. A reminder that the positions of all UKR assets must be kept off social media and any info on Russian ones spread widely if possible.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago

I think the most potent Ukrainian spy kit is probably a mobile phone.

Judging by the videos of the ship burning there were plenty of people photographing/videoing that location!

I would suggest that the Kremlin’s input was to make a relatively inconsequential ship a priority target. 1,500t capacity isn’t that impressive!

But as the Kremlin were singing it’s praises……be rude not to hit it?

AV
AV
1 month ago

Totally agree, most mainstream news outlets are following a well directed brief not to publish anything significant..bar a few soldiers and an anti tank hedgehog or two….which is good to see. Some high end direction going on 👍
Incidentally it’s my understanding the Orsk was adjacent to the refuelling jetty …hence the large explosion(s)

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  AV

I also read it wasn’t the Orsk, but another vessel of that type, name of which I forget.

AV
AV
1 month ago

Yes I’ve seen that. Not sure who’s correct but definitely one of that class. 👍

Last edited 1 month ago by AV
Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Please tell me that the Protector programme will now be adding weapon sponsors , instead of just Targeting ability for Artillery or have I got this wrong?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Watchkeeper needs weaponising. Protector like Reaper and Predator before it is armed.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Thanks Daniele, and I wonder how much an upgrade rather than a first design weapon sponsoon will change the overall aredynamics and cost ?

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

Wouldn’t it be wise to equip our ground forces with LAA artilliary rather than using an expensive SAM to shoot down a cheap, slow UAV?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Yes