RAF completes final operational Sentinel R1 mission

The Royal Air Force (RAF) carried out its final mission with the Raytheon Sentinel R.Mk 1 (R1) on February 25, bringing almost 13 years of operational UK military service to an end.

Having spent most of its operational career supporting military campaigns over the Middle East, the Sentinel’s last mission was much closer to home. Operated as always by No V (Army Cooperation) Squadron, the aircraft – serial ZJ694 (c/n 9135), callsign ‘ASCOT 7303’ – departed RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, to conduct its final mission over Eastern Europe. During the flight, the platform loitered over the Baltic, and in Lithuanian and Polish airspace to monitor Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave and Belarus.

Sentinel R1 [MoD Crown Copyright] 1
Raytheon Sentinel R1 - serial ZJ690 (c/n 9107) - in flight over the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, in February 2009. MoD Crown Copyright

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