Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson marked a momentous centenary year for the RAF at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), as it was announced that Waddington will operate the air force’s new Protector aircraft…

RIAT this year saw the arrival of the Protector from the US, paired with the announcement that RAF Waddington will be the main operating base for the aircraft, which continuing the foundations of flying Reaper, will operate this next generation, world leading aircraft.

The Defence Secretary also presented two British pilots with 1,000 flying hour certificates after they reached the milestone in the submarine hunting P8-A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft being purchased by the UK. Squadron Leaders Mark Faulds and Ian Tuff reached the achievement as part of their time training in the Seedcorn crew with the US Navy.

The UK has ordered nine of the aircraft, investing £3bn over the next decade in its Maritime Patrol Capability, building upon the principle of collective defence and security and strengthening US-UK interoperability. The Secretary recently cut the first turf on a £132m facility for the new fleet at RAF Lossiemouth.

Speaking at RIAT, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The Royal International Air Tattoo is a perfect example of how Britain continues to lead the way in airpower, showing the story from the historic Lancaster, to the stealthy F-35 Lightning and now the incredible arrival of the Protector.

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