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Cameron Promises Special Forces Boost

05.10.2015

David Cameron has promised to boost United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) with increased budgets for new men and equipment. The Prime Minister made the pledge during an interview with the Telegraph.[1]

A significant budget boost will be made to ensure that UKSF is properly equipped to fight terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere. The money may be used to recruit new UKSF soldiers and to procure up-to-date weapons and equipment.

A fleet of new drones, named Protectors, will also be brought into service. The new unmanned aircraft will replace the MQ-9 Reapers that are currently carrying out surveillance and strike operations against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria. The current fleet of 10 Reapers will be replaced by 20 new Protectors.

As both the Special Forces and drones are key weapons deployed against ISIS, the move to enhance both capabilities could be seen as a signal that a stepping up of British military action against the terror group is being planned.

Although not officially acknowledged, British Special Forces are believed to be deployed in an ongoing campaign against ISIS that has lasted at least a year.[2]

MQ-9 Reaper drone
Under the planned procurement program, Royal Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drones, like the one pictured above, will be replaced with the US-built Protector model. Not much info is publicly available on the new drone except it is expected to have an increased weapons payload and greater range/endurance when compared with the Reaper.
Image by Cpl Steve Bain ABIPP © UK MOD / Crown Copyright 2012 used under open government licence

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