It doesn’t take classified access to understand that the Royal Air Force’s new Astor intelligence-gathering system, being fine-tuned here in the green swales of East Anglia, will soon be bound for operations over the sand seas and knife-edge ridges of Afghanistan. The commander of No. 5 (Army Cooperation) Sqdn. (which includes RAF, British Army and Royal Navy personnel) says the unit will be ready to deploy by year’s end with as many as two Sentinel R1 aircraft and two ground systems ...

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