Sentinel Aircraft

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of the cessation of Raytheon Sentinel on (a) surveillance support for the UK's armed forces, (b) national security and (c) UK operational advantage.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to fill the surveillance support gap left by the cessation of Raytheon Sentinel.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the cessation of Raytheon Sentinel on the safety of UK armed forces while on operations.

Photo of Jeremy Quin Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 set Sentinel’s out of service date of March 2021. Sentinel will continue to deliver operational capability and the ability to deploy on operational tasking into the first quarter of 2021.

While no identical capability is operated by the UK (though similar capabilities exist in the NATO inventory), the UK does have a number of other intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that collect different types of intelligence information, including long-range strategic assets (Sentry, Rivet Joint and Poseidon) and shorter-range more tactically-focused assets (including Shadow, Reaper and Watchkeeper).

The safety and security of our Armed Forces remains paramount. This is achieved through robust Force Protection, coupled with advanced surveillance, intelligence analysis and situational awareness processes to maintain operational advantage.

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