UK Defence Minister Jeremy Quin has confirmed that a £195m contract has been signed with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for a further 13 MQ-9B Protector RG1 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) for the Royal Air Force (RAF).
He announced the new contract during a visit to GKN Aerospace (GKNA), which is manufacturing key parts of the aircraft at its facility in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Three Protectors have already been ordered for the RAF under a contract announced on July 15, 2020. The first of these completed its maiden flight on September 25, 2020, from one of GA-ASI’s test facilities in the US. A second example is now also flying and both Protectors are currently undergoing testing and evaluation in the US.