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New MoD drone unveiled

Britain is doubling its number of armed drones with the introduction of a newly-upgraded generation of unmanned aircraft. 

This drone will be able to fly for almost twice as long as the current model, as well as being equipped with more bombs, missiles and sensors.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reported that the planes will be capable of flying for almost two days, while sophisticated new flight computers mean they will be able to fly in bad weather and survive ice, lightning and bird strikes.

Details of this new aircraft are now being released as defence officials have signed a £415 million contract with the Pentagon for 20 of these models to replace the RAF’s ten existing MQ-9 Reapers.

Liz Quintana, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, said: "The aircraft is much more capable than its predecessor. It has almost double the endurance of the Reaper so with a fleet of 20 aircraft, this represents an almost quadrupling of the capability, vital given the MoD's range of commitments and its requirement to respond to emerging crises."

Additionally, these drones will be certified to fly in European airspace, meaning they could potentially be used for Nato intelligence-gathering missions in Eastern Europe. 

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