Oct 29, 2014

UK to upgrade Sentinel R.1s for maritime operations

The United Kingdom is to begin the process of upgrading its fleet of Sentinel R.1 Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) surveillance aircraft to conduct maritime operations in mid-2015.
A contract for the development and installation of the maritime-capable software upgrade aboard the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) five aircraft will be signed in spring (Q2) 2015.
This upgrade should enable the Sentinel R.1 to detect surface vessels and potentially submarine periscopes. Additional sensors could be fitted to further boost the platform's maritime surveillance capability.
The Sentinel R.1 was originally slated to be retired in 2015 as a result of budget cuts announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2010, but an impressive showing in Afghanistan and Libya has prompted the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to delay this until 2018.

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