First British-built Sentinel in formal flight testing
14 Apr 2006
The first Sentinel R Mk1 aircraft to be completed in the UK recently left Raytheon's Broughton facility in North Wales for Greenville, Texas, where it will join the U.S.-built aircraft to undertake formal flight testing.
The British aircraft will return in late spring to undertake further flight trials in the UK. The Sentinel R Mk1, based on a Bombardier Global Express business jet, will form part of the MOD's Airborne Stand Off Radar (ASTOR) system.
Based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, the aircraft will be operated by 5 Squadron, which has been re-formed for the purpose on April 1, 2004. The ASTOR Squadron will be able to operate at long distances, giving battlefield commanders accurate and up-to-date information about forces, infrastructure and vehicle movements.
The first ASTOR aircraft was modified and integrated in the USA while the remaining four Sentinels are being modified by Raytheon Systems Limited, the prime contractor, in the UK .
- Royal Air Force