Thales (UK) has been awarded a three year support contract for the new UK Watchkeeper drone.
Thales was also the ‘system integrator’ for Watchkeeper, the company which took technology from the Hermes 450, and added new technology to create a made-in-UK drone system. Hermes 450 is a product of Elbit Systems of Israel, which is one of Israel’s largest drone exporters, and provides surveillance technology for Israel’s ‘apartheid wall’. Thales and Elbit did the project through a joint venture known as UTacS.
It does not appear that the contract was subject to competive bidding, at least none was mentioned.
Composite producer ACG provided the material for the body of the drone. ACG brags that the project has ‘strengthened the ties that exist between ACG and Elbit Systems’.