The RAF’s Sentinel R1 surveillance aircraft has been in action over UK skies this week, assisting the work of the Environment Agency, Police and the Army in providing detailed information to help tackle the terrible flooding which has hit the the South West of England.
As shown in this BBC video, the aircraft’s unique capability allows the RAF map the Environment Agency’s severe flooding warning areas with its own radar imagery – providing real time data on the extent of the flooding, possible pressure points in rivers and water flows, and identifying settlements or agricultural land which may be at risk.
This is a further example of how defence technology can be used across a wide range of important civilian and potentially lifesaving tasks (the RAF’s Tornado ‘Raptor’ Surveillance pod was used for a similar purpose as the Sentinel this week as well).
The technology behind the Sentinel is both integrated and maintained here in the UK, and in its day job, the aircraft is a vital source for troops. It is able to provide continuous air-to-ground surveillance capabilities and allows RAF analysts on board to quickly disseminate essential information to safeguard various types of combat operations.