£80 million computer system boost for RAF

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that the Ministry of Defence will invest up to £80 million in a new computer system to boost the RAF’s speed and accuracy.

The new Air Command and Control System, known as Project Guardian, will see the current systems at RAF bases in the UK and Falkland Islands replaced with new technology that will support the continued early detection and rapid response to potential hostile or suspect aircraft that pose terrorist or security threats.

The Air Command and Control System generates the Recognised Air Picture – a dynamic, real time depiction of aircraft in the airspace the UK control or patrol, with each being identified as friendly or hostile. The upgrades, being installed by IBM Services, will improve the rapid exchange of real time command and control information and speed and accuracy of decision making.

Williamson said: “With hostile regimes such as President Putin’s Kremlin ripping up the international rulebook and terrorists still targeting our way of life, this cutting-edge technology gives our RAF the upper hand in the face of rapidly changing and intensifying global threats. This investment will play a vital role in making sure our fighter pilots are primed and ready to keep Britain safe and to counter aggression from those who seek to cause us harm.”

Since 2013, RAF jets have launched 68 times to intercept or monitor suspect aircraft in the skies around Britain - half in response to Russian planes.

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