The RAF has sent a state-of-the-art reconnaissance aircraft to help find the 200 kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria.
The Sentinel aircraft has a crew of five and is capable of flying for long periods at high altitude.
It is fitted with radar able to locate moving targets and offer radar imagery.
Departing from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, the plane is initially bound for the Ghanaian capital of Accra, west of Nigeria where Islamist terror group Boko Haram and their captives are in hiding.
The jet will then join US aircraft in attempting to locate the girls, who were seized from a school dormitory in the north-east of the country on April 15.
Rich Barrow, RAF Waddington’s station commander, said: “The Sentinel with its wide area search capability and long endurance is perfect for this task.
“UK personnel will help to analyse the information gathered to improve the intelligence picture for the Nigerian authorities.”
Foreign Secretary William Hague urged west African nations to come together to defeat Boko Haram during international crisis talks in Paris on Saturday.
And he said that in the long term, the UK and other countries would need to do more to support development in areas where Boko Haram is active.
“More will need to be done in the north of Nigeria in terms of clean water, healthcare, education and so on,” he said.
18 May 2014 | 3:56 pm – Source: orange.co.uk