23 October 2012
A batch of five new MQ-9 Reaper drones, which are used to gather surveillance and monitor enemy movements, will be operated from RAF Waddington.
The unmanned aircraft will be based in Afghanistan and will not be flown from the Lincolnshire base.
A spokesman for the MoD said: "The RAF announced in May 2011 that RAF Waddington is to host a new Reaper squadron, known as 13 Squadron.
"The squadron will be officially 'stood up' at a ceremony this Friday. However, operations will not begin immediately.
"Once operational, the squadron will double the UK Reaper intelligence and surveillance capability to 10 aircraft."
The Reaper drones are the only remote-controlled aircraft from which an aerial attack can be launched.
On the "rare occasions" when weapons are fired, "strict rules are followed", the MoD spokesman said.
"The vast majority of unmanned aircraft flying is surveillance and reconnaissance in support of our front-line troops, providing them with vital intelligence and helping to save lives in Afghanistan," he said.
"Since 2006, they have provided over 100,000 hours of persistent intelligence."
The Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, was first used in Afghanistan in 2007 as a means of keeping tabs on Taliban insurgents.
Some of the drones will continue to be flown from an US Air Force
base in Creech, Nevada.