Britten-Norman, one of the sponsors of this year's Royal International Air Tattoo, is showcasing two variants of its Defender aircraft in the static park.

The Defender 4000 (designated BN2T-4S) is the largest aircraft in the Islander line and has been designed to meet the complex ISTAR operational environment. Specialising in Counter Terrorism and prevention of Organised Crime, the aircraft also provides capabilities in the maritime, Search & Rescue and Casevac roles. Since its attendance at last year’s RIAT, the Defender 4000 demonstrator, G-WPNS, has now entered a new programme with selected strategic partners to showcase a range of new technologies and will be commencing its demonstration programme in the latter part of 2017. The aircraft is also being used as part of a programme to deliver light munitions and tactical resupply, utilising its under-wing hard points.

Accompanying the Defender 4000 this year is a substantially modified BN2T Defender hybrid, sporting a variation of the company’s customary Union Flag livery. Originally part of the UK MoD’s ASTOR programme, the aircraft is recognisable by the oversized radome on its nose. Until recently, the aircraft had been operated by the UK Government as a highly successful test and trials platform. Utilising the space contained in the radome, the extensive equipment bay in the cabin and its four under-wing hard points, the aircraft has been enabled to carry all manner of experimental role equipment. The aircraft has since been acquired by Britten-Norman and remains available to the military and defence industry in continuation of this much sought after role, allowing programmes across a range of rotary and fixed wing platforms to be de-risked through low cost airborne testing.

Technical Director, David Shaw, said: “As part of our EASA Part 21J, DAOS design and civil and military flight test approvals we are able to offer rapid, low-cost trial installations of a wide variety of payloads. Fully supported by our specialist avionics integration and flight test personnel, we have extensive experience in this field and look forward to continuing to offer these essential services on a national and international basis. The unique aspect of this aircraft is our ability to alter the exterior of the unpressurised, aluminium airframe, allowing temporary installation of antennae and sensors.”


REF: 1100BN/140717