The Royal Air Force’s 2 Force Protection Wing, based at RAF Leeming, has taken on the role of delivering a new capability for UK Defence, countering the threat posed by the malicious use of drones.
RAF Regiment Gunners from 2 Force Protection Wing, which includes 34 Squadron RAF Regiment, 63 Squadron RAF Regiment and 609 Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment, are currently being trained to operate the ORCUS Counter-Uncrewed Air System (C-UAS).
The threat from Uncrewed Air System is escalating, whether that be directly to air safety or our security, both within the UK and overseas on operations. The extensive use of Uncrewed Air System in the Ukraine and the Middle East, clearly demonstrates the need for C-UAS capabilities, the cornerstone of which needs to be highly trained, equipped and motivated workforce.
Developed as part of Project Synergia, ORCUS can detect, track, identify and, if necessary, defeat hostile drones, improving the protection of key infrastructure including air bases around the UK and Overseas. In future a number of additional C-UAS capabilities will be introduced.
The opportunities for the RAF Regiment, the RAF and wider Defence as a result of this announcement are significant and I, along with the 2 Force Protection Wing, look forward to being at the vanguard of such an important and relevant Defence task. The Royal Air Force requires an agile technology driven Force Protection Force and with C-UAS at the very forefront of its priority list we will find ourselves at the very cutting edge of this capability.
Air Commodore Thompson
RAF Force Protection Force Commander
The ORCUS system can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the country in support of emergency services in the event of a drone-based crisis. Due to the serious nature of the threat posed by rogue drones to the UK, the programme is considered of high importance to national security.
The increasing growth of the C-UAS problem and its relevance in modern warfare has presented a unique opportunity for the Force Protection Force to demonstrate its ability to embrace technological advancements take on the capability in accordance with the needs of the RAF, Defence and the country as a whole. The new system is scalable and is operated by a highly trained unit that can provide specialist point defence from both Air and Ground attacks.It is an immense privilege for 2 Force Protection Wing to lead on the provision of Fixed Site C-UAS on behalf of the RAF. A majority of personnel on the Wing, and its composite Squadrons have deployed to operational theatres where they have experienced first-hand the very real and extremely potent threat posed from Uncrewed Air System.
Wing Commander Wiseman
Officer Commanding 2 Force Protection Wing