DGA reports Watchkeeper programme progress
The French DGA has reported that it has begun evaluation of the Watchkeeper UAV. The Watchkeeper system is being developed by Thales UK to meet the tactical UAV requirements of the French and British armed forces.
According to the DGA, this evaluation of the UAV will help define the conditions of close operational cooperation, and training of French operators will begin later this month. The flight campaign will be undertaken in 2013 at Istres air base. This work is part of a contract awarded to Thales UK in October that covers training and in-flight evaluations, as well as transport, logistics and maintenance requirements.
Thales is developing the UAV under an £800 million contract awarded in 2005. The system is based on an adapted Elbit Systems Hermes 450 aircraft.
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