The Chief of the Air Staff has announced the RAF’s role in the launch and operation of a demonstrator satellite…

Now in orbit, the Carbonite-2 offers sovereign, full-motion colour video from space for the RAF for the first time.

The RAF has been working with the MOD’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and UK industry on the programme to deliver high-quality imagery and 3D video footage from space. The first satellite of its kind, the Carbonite-2 has completed its initial checks and is now supplying detailed imagery and footage.

The ambitious programme could eventually see high-tech satellites beaming video directly into the cockpit of fighter jets, improving the situational awareness of UK pilots by giving them the very best imagery and information anywhere on Earth in real-time.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier made the announcement at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited in Guildford, the company behind the technology, to mark the successful launch and operation of the satellite. He said:

“It’s entirely fitting that we have launched this highly capable satellite in the centenary year of the Royal Air Force. We have always been at the leading edge of technology, constantly innovating and expanding our horizons.

“This satellite will not only expand further the RAF’s growing Air and Space capabilities, it will I hope also be an inspiration to those young people looking towards technology as a way to realise their potential.”