skip to main content

UK expands scope of Shadow upgrade

Having entered service in 2007, the Shadow is operated out of RAF Waddington by 14 Squadron. (Raythein)

The United Kingdom has expanded the upgrade of its Raytheon Shadow R1, adding additional special mission aircraft to the effort and integrating new equipment.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on 3 November that Raytheon UK had been awarded GBP110 million (USD150 million) to add a further two Beechcraft King Air 350-derived Shadow R1 electronic intelligence (ELINT) aircraft to the R2 upgrade. The company will also integrate the Leonardo-Thales Miysis directed-infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) defensive aids system (DAS) onto all eight Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft at its Broughton facility in Wales.

โ€œThis investment will enable the Shadow fleet to be increased in size and equipped with the latest technology providing a key capability as part of the RAF's next generation air force,โ€ Shadow Programme Senior Responsible Owner, Group Captain Shaun Gee, said. He added that the first upgraded R2 aircraft will be delivered to the RAF in June 2023, with delivery of the eighth upgraded Shadow taking place before the end of 2025.

The R2 upgrade for the Shadow is geared at evolving the capabilities of the aircraft over the coming months and years. The aircraft are first being modernised to an interim R1+ standard, before roll out of the full R2 enhancements. The Shadow's out-of-service date (OSD) has now been set at 2030.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...