Royal Airforce to be 1st Operator of New MQ-9B SkyGuardian UAV reported on the MQ-9B, the RAF’s new revolutionary remotely piloted aircraft. The Royal Air Force will be the world’s first operator of the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, a high-flying, long-loitering, sharp-eyed and widely capable new remotely operated patrol aircraft that has been designed and built to the same airworthiness standards as manned aircraft. After a successful demonstration in British and European airspace this summer, the first aircraft, which the RAF call Protector RG Mk1, are set to begin operating from their permanent home at RAF Waddington, in the East Midlands of England, in 2024. The MQ-9B, which is built by the U.S. aerospace and defense contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is the most advanced medium altitude, long endurance remotely piloted aircraft of its kind. It can stay airborne for around 40 hours. Details are reported at

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report, the background for which appeared in their  # 21 - 24 - 27 SEPTEMBER 2021 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

David distributes the USN, a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every week or two, as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send David a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.