The US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa achieved an important milestone by successfully demonstrating the Satellite Launch and Recovery Package (SLR-P) for the MQ-9A Reaper in Poland. The SLR-P is a compact solution that integrates launch and recovery support capabilities for drones operating in challenging environments. The demonstration took place at the 12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Air Base in Mirosławiec, Poland.
The SLR-P introduces an innovative, “wallet-sized” solution for launching and recovering the MQ-9A in strategically located theaters in Europe’s rugged and remote outposts. This package eliminates the need to send the drone back to its home station for maintenance and servicing, departing from established norms. The integrated satellite technology within the SLR-P ensures seamless connectivity, reducing downtime and improving mission readiness.
The SLR-P system underwent testing in Poland and was custom-designed to meet the unique needs of the European and African theaters. It includes a compact mobile container and an inventory list tailored to address the specific requirements and environmental variations of each region. The system can be easily transported using attachable wheels, making it suitable for different operational scenarios.
The SLR-P system significantly reduces the number of personnel required for the sustainment and operation of precision systems like the MQ-9A. Traditionally, remotely piloted tasks require 30 to 150 personnel, but the SLR-P only requires an aircrew of eight operators. During the demonstration, the 435th Contingency Response Group from USAFE-AFAFRICA operated the MQ-9A.
The demonstration not only showcased remote piloting capabilities but also emphasized the joint efforts between the US and Polish military in sharing security objectives and technological advancements. Poland, as a crucial member of the NATO alliance, is committed to safeguarding its sovereignty and contributing to the refinement of procedures and capabilities.
This milestone underscores the US Air Force’s commitment to preparing its aircraft for deployment in rugged and remote areas while minimizing personnel requirements for maintenance and operation.