Peter Luff, Defense Minister for Equipment, recently claimed that the Watchkeeper drone would be put into action later in 2011. The Watchkeeper has been delayed before and the project has been examined by the Projects Review Board, for past shortcomings.
Nor is it clear how many of the projected 54 drones will be delivered in 2011. At a cost of almost a billion pounds for 54 aircraft, the Watchkeeper is perhaps the most expensive in its class.
The Ministry of Defense plans to send the Watchkeeper drones to Afghanistan almost immediately.