1. Carl Dinnen

A closer look at the RAF 'spy plane' being sent to Mali

An RAF Sentinel 'spy plane' has left RAF Waddington to help with the French military effort in Mali. I understand the Sentinel will be based in Senegal and about 70 personnel will deploy with it to keep it running.

The Sentinel is a surveillance aircraft which has been used extensively in Afghanistan and Libya.

Undated MoD file handout photo of a Sentinel Airborne Stand Off Radar (ASTOR) Aircraft from No. 5 (AC) Squadron, RAF Waddington Credit: Andy Holmes/MOD/PA Wire

One of the two C-17 transport aircraft is still working on the operation although the other is still available if the French need it.

The decision on whether Britain will contribute to the EU's Training Mission in Mali has still to be made.