Connect with us


UK, Belgium Sign Contract To Develop Advanced Version Of MQ-9 Reaper Drones

Designed as a further development of the MQ-9 “Reaper” or commonly known as Predator-B UCAV, the MQ-9B RPAS system is developed by General Atomics as a new advanced version which is expected to meet NATO- airworthiness standards as a “Type-Certifiable” system- certified to fly in civilian airspace.



The United Kingdom (UK) and Belgium are set to collaborate to develop an advanced version of MQ-9 Reaper drone, the countries declared with a statement of intention (SoI) announced recently.

Massive US-Iran Clash Anticipated After UNSC Rejects Washington-Backed Sanctions

The UK and Belgium have recently declared an agreement via a bilateral Statement of Intent (SoI) to work collaboratively on their MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) aircraft.

Designed as a further development of the MQ-9 “Reaper” or commonly known as Predator-B UCAV, the MQ-9B RPAS system is developed by General Atomics as a new advanced version which is expected to meet NATO- airworthiness standards as a “Type-Certifiable” system- certified to fly in civilian airspace.

The RPAS is known as Protector RG1 in the UK and by its official company name ‘SkyGuardian’ in Belgium. Both countries have recently placed orders for the aircraft.

MQ-9 Reaper | MQ-9 Reaper Primary function: Unmanned hunter/… | Flickr

MQ-9 Reaper Drones

The SoI was signed by Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, and Major General Frederik Vansina, Commander of the Belgian Air Component. Both parties will now focus on opportunities to work together on training, maintenance, logistic support, interoperability, and capability enhancement, the RAF stated.

Marshal Mike Wigston said, “This Statement of Intent between the UK and Belgium reflects our shared ambition for Protector, the MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft System, working in partnership to tackle threats to our national and collective security.”

“The Royal Air Force and Belgian Air Force will explore opportunities to train, maintain, and work together on this game-changing aircraft using its cutting-edge sensors and systems to protect national, NATO and European security.

The introduction of Protector MQ-9B reflects a step-change in remotely piloted aircraft operations in Europe and worldwide. The Royal Air Force is delighted that the Belgian Air Force will stand beside us again on that historic journey.”, he added.

The British Government has invested in 16 Protector RG1 systems, replacing the old fleet of nine MQ-9 Reaper drones. The deliveries are expected to commence in 2024, with 31 Squadron of the RAF as its first operational squadron.

Belgium, too, is acquiring four MQ-9B drones for its national security and NATO obligations. Major General Frederik Vansina said: “As the second Air Force acquiring this system, we are proud to join the United Kingdom in setting the first milestones towards interoperability between both our systems.”

“Both our nations see great opportunity in developing strategic partnership and in doing so we will tackle shared challenges with greater strength on top of streamlining our Forces’ interoperability in employing this state-of-the-art asset.

As other NATO Air Force’s join the UK and Belgium in acquiring this cutting-edge capability, which we will seamlessly integrate into densely navigated airspaces around the globe, I’m proud to announce today’s signing of our bi-national Statement of Intent.

This is a first and important step toward the foundation of a reliable partnership between our Air Force’s involving key aspects in the development of this novel system”, she added.

The SkyGuardian’s armed variant can be equipped with precision-guided munitions, enabling it to perform a host of operations from ISTAR operations to the destruction of the target, and shall prove to be an important asset for both nations.




China-aerial-space-Indian-Drone China-aerial-space-Indian-Drone
Americas5 hours ago

US Demonstrates Technology To Launch A ‘Drone From A Drone’ & Recover It Back Mid-Air

General Atomics, the American defence giant has stated that it has carried out captive carry tests of its new air-launched...

Featured7 hours ago

After Ladakh, Why Gilgit-Baltistan Could Be Next Big Flash Point Between India And China?

In a bid to gain further control on the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region, Islamabad has decided to upgrade its status as...

sharif-modi-meeting sharif-modi-meeting
Featured8 hours ago

Nawaz Sharif’s Speech Against Pakistan Army Widely Celebrated In India – Imran Khan

Pakistan PM Imran Khan denounced former PM Nawaz Sharif and stated that the opposition has only one agenda i.e. how...

Asia Pacific19 hours ago

Indian Army Has Deployed Additional 100,000 Troops Near The LAC – Top Chinese General

Despite the sixth round of Corps Commander level meeting between India and China which failed to provide any significant breakthrough,...

F18-India-Deal F18-India-Deal
Featured19 hours ago

NATO Commitment Forces Germany To Acquire F-18 Super Hornets & Reduce Number Of Typhoons

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is looking to procure the new Eurofighter Typhoons and F-18 Super Hornets to bridge the gap...

Expert Reviews21 hours ago

‘Hot Winters’ Ahead – China Says PLA Needs To Teach A Harsh Lesson To ‘Insincere’ India – OPED

The portents of war between China and India seem to be getting more and more darker by every passing day....

Featured1 day ago

SAAB Delivers Gripen-E Jets To Brazil; Offers ‘Exceptional Deal’ To The Indian Air Force

With India’s new FDI model under the new indigenization drive, SAAB has seen it as a lucrative offer and is...

Europe1 day ago

After Rafale Jets, This Air Force Wants Stealth F-35s That Was Once Meant For Turkey?

While some recent reports indicated that with the arrival of F-35s, UAE cold shed some of its F-16s and sell...

j20-vs-tejas j20-vs-tejas
Asia Pacific1 day ago

Taiwanese Expert Says ‘Bathrooms Best Place To Hide’ During Chinese Air Raids, Missile Attack

As tensions between China and Taiwan are only increasing day by day, former Ministry of Defense advisor Sung Chao-wen on...

Featured1 day ago

Indian SU-30 MKI Jets Loaded With BrahMos Missiles Practice Hitting Chinese Assets Far Away From Ladakh

Soaring tensions between India and China in Ladakh has seen both the sides deploying thousands of troops, heavy artillery and...