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651 Squadron Army air Corps

651 Sqn are an Army Air Corps squadron that is believed to have joined the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW) in 2006. They are known to operate Britten Norman Defender 4S AL Mk1 aircraft which are used for reconnaissance missions.

These twin-engine, fixed wing turboprop aircraft are typically fitted with an array sophisticated surveillance equipment such as:

The aircraft carries infrared jammers and other defensive systems in pods under the wings in order to defend against surface-to-air missiles.

1 Flight AAC have, in the past, flown similar aircraft (BN-2T Islanders) as airborne surveillance platforms during Operation Banner (Northern Ireland).

Defender 4S AL Mk1 Performance

651 Squadron Role

651 Sqn provides ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance)  support to UKSF operations. The squadron have operated in both Iraq and Afghanistan. As reported in the press, based out of Basra and Al Amara, Iraq, 651 Sqn's Defenders monitored movements of insurgents along routes into the capital. It's likely that such operations involved close coordination with UKSF ground units. It's also likely that 651 Sqn supported SAS Task Force Black which operated throughout Iraq.

Photo of 651 Sqn AAC Defender 4S AL Mk1 :

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