- British Aerospace
- Future Rapid Effect System
- United Kingdom
Northrop-Grumman Corporation and Thales Group have been selected by the Ministry
of Defense of United Kingdom to continue development of networked Watchkeeper
Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicle.
Watchkeeper will provide the UK's Armed Forces with a globally deployable
capability to deliver intelligence imagery, targeting and exploration to
battlefield commanders. The Watchkeeper program has a potential value of
£800 million, about $1.2
The Northrop-Grumman led team is evaluating several unmanned systems to meet the
requirements of the Watchkeeper systems architecture, including the US Navy
RQ-8A Fire Scout system. BAe Systems has entered discussions to join
By the other hand, Thales is evaluating platforms derived from Elbit Systems
Hermes 180 and 450 Unmanned Air Vehicles.
The Watchkeeper systems will interface seamlessly with other UK systems such as
Bowman, ASTOR, FRES and Indirect Fire Systems.
The Ministry of Defense plans call for an Initial Operational Capability in
2006, achieving full operational Capability by 2007-2008 timeframe. Watchkeeper
will act as imagery collector, directing this information to divisional, brigade
and battle group command levels.
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