US-based UTC Aerospace Systems has announced that the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) reconnaissance airborne pod for Tornado (RAPTOR) sensor systems have attained 10,000 flight hours of imaging capabilities in support of coalition operations.
The Raptor is centred on UTC’s tactical dual-band, day / night airborne reconnaissance system DB-110, which was initially deployed by the RAF in 2002.
Since then it has supported operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
DB-110, which captures quality day and night images, can acquire precision images up to 100 miles away.
A ground station supplied by UTC Aerospace Systems will receive the imagery for real-time operational use.
RAF Marham Station commander, group captain Rich Davies said: "This fantastic milestone is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of all those who have supported the Raptor sorties over the years."
The system is currently used by more than 12 countries on various aircraft, including the F-16, F-15 and unmanned aerial systems.
UTC Aerospace Systems Airborne Systems vice-president Kevin Raftery said: "The Raptor's role is indisputable and unmatched, and the RAF reached this important milestone because they have outstanding aircrews, technology and support teams for the mission.
"UTC Aerospace Systems is proud to be an integral part of the RAF's reconnaissance missions for the first 10,000 flight hours, and we look forward to supporting their continued success."
Image: UTC Aerospace Systems Airborne Systems vice-president Kevin Raftery presented a Silver Tornado statue to the Royal Air Force's Marham Wing. Photo: courtesy of UTC Aerospace Systems.