Thales is seeking a Head of Watchkeeper Support for its beleagured Watchkeeper drone project. Watchkeeper is a billion pound joint venture of Thales of France and Elbit Systems of Israel to provide a new surveillance drone for the UK, based on Israel’s Hermes 450 drone.
The Watchkeeper drone programme is months overdue. Originally billed as needed by UK forces in Afghanistan, the medium altitude, long endurance drone did not materialise as expected, suggesting that it wasn’t as needed as claimed by its supporters.
Last month the French government agreed to study the Watchkeeper drone with a view of acquiring it for its own military purposes.
After placing the Watchkeeper on its ‘Programmes of Concern’ list last year, the UK government has been remarkably quiet since then about the failure of the programme to meet its delivery date expectations.