2008-05-11 - Watchkeeper fliesThales Watchkeeper flies

Erstflug des neuen UAV für Großbritannien<br /> The WATCHKEEPER UAV, flown for the first time on 16 April from Megido airfield in northern Israel, is the first produced air vehicle, designed and built to meet the demanding requirements of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

WATCHKEEPER will provide the UK armed forces with an essential intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability, and will be a key component of the UK's network enabled capability (NEC). Thales UK, as Prime Contractor for the WATCHKEEPER programme, will deliver equipment, training and facilities, with the capability coming into service from 2010.
The WATCHKEEPER system consists of the unmanned air vehicle, with a dual-payload configuration. This includes day/night electro-optic sensors, laser target designator, as well as advanced synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator radar. The ISTAR information and images are provided to a network of highly mobile ground control stations and remote viewing terminals where UK military operators will control the whole mission and interface within a network-enabled environment. High resolution optical and radar imagery will be exploited and disseminated to provide valuable intelligence for operational commanders.

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