Certifiable Predator B Flies

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The first Type Certifiable Predator B (TCPB) on its first flight. The Royal Air Force will receive 20 Protectors, which will be based on the TCPB.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has flown the first Type- Certifiable Predator B (TCPB) from its Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, California. Qualification testing for type certification will continue over the next two years, using three companyowned aircraft, along with two airframes for full-scale fatigue and static testing. The UK Ministry of Defence has signed a £100 million design contract with GA-ASI covering the development of the Protector RPAS (remotely piloted air system) for the Royal Air Force. Protector will be a UK version of the TCPB, featuring advanced datalink and imaging technology and the MBDA Brimstone 2 and Paveway IV precision-guided munition. Twenty Protectors will be delivered, doubling the UK’s RPAS fleet from the current ten MQ-9 Reapers, which Protector will replace. Service entry is due in 2021. Mark Broadbent