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Thales signs billion-euro deal to supply 'Watchkeeper' drones to Britain

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posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 03:58 AM
The British Ministry of Defence has chosen Thales to supply drones to Britain. Choosing them over the offer made by the pairing of Northrop Grumman and BAE.

French defence and electronics group Thales said Thursday it had signed a 700-million-pound (one-billion-euro, 1.23-billion-dollar) contract with the British defence ministry for pilotless surveillance aircraft, or drones.

It said the sale covered the provision of equipment, necessary installations and training, with the drones -- dubbed Watchkeepers -- reaching operational capacity in 2010.


Here's the Thales Press release:

Watchkeeper will provide the UK's armed forces with a globally deployable Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability to deliver Image Intelligence (IMINT), as a core element of the MoD's Network-Enabled Capability strategy.

Thales is currently leading a top-tier team of preferred companies and will establish a joint company in England with Elbit Systems to manufacture sub-systems for both Watchkeeper and the rapidly growing worldwide UAV market, estimated to be worth around $3 billion over the next ten years.

"Watchkeeper is the key to battlefield surveillance of the future," said Dr Reid. "The new UAVs will be able to stay in the air for much longer than conventional aircraft, and will provide all-weather coverage by day and by night." Dr Reid went on to state that UAVs "are a key part of the future vision for our armed forces", providing high-quality battlefield imagery that can be accessed quickly by commanders.

They say this deal will create thousands of jobs in the UK.
I wish they stated how many drones they would be getting for that 1 billion euros.

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