International Consortium for the production of Watchkeeper X military drones in Romania

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The U-TacS company, specialized in the production of military drones, will transfer technology from the United Kingdom to Romania for the production of Watchkeeper X drones, said on Tuesday, in Bacău, the general director of U-TacS, Yogev Dahan, according to Agerpres.
“U-TacS is very proud to be part of this consortium, which will propose to the Romanian armed forces the Watchkeeper X unmanned aircraft system. We are very happy to be here today and to create this consortium, with partner companies from the Romanian industry, for to respond to a program with a product that we believe fully meets the requirements of Romanian partners and we are happy that in the future we will be able to transfer a number of technologies from the UK to Romania, “said Yogev Dahan.
The general manager of U-TacS, Yogev Dahan, and the president and general manager of Aerostar Bacău, Grigore Filip, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Bacău on Tuesday for the creation of a consortium to produce Watchkeeper X drones.
The consortium will also include the participation of Thales Systems Romania, Romaero SA and the Romanian National Aerospace Research Institute “Elie Carafoli”, according to U-TacS.
U-TacS, a joint venture created by defense companies Elbit (Israel) and Thales (UK), intends to cooperate with several Romanian companies for the local production of Watchkeeper X drones, being interested in the drone purchase contract worth more than $ 270 million announced by the Ministry of National Defense.
During the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding, the president and general manager of Aerostar Bacău, Grigore Filip, underlined that he wants the partnership between the Romanian company and U-TacS to be a successful one for Romania.
“This moment is the moment of birth of a partnership that we wish success for Aerostar, for Romania and for our partners in England. It is a happy coincidence that today (Tuesday, no.), On July 20, is the Day Aviation, so in Romania today traditionally celebrates Aviation Day, the day of aviators, pilots, engineers, all those who deal with aircraft, and I hope that what we have done today will be a gift we give to aviation in Romania “, mentioned the president-general manager of Aerostar Bacău.
U-TacS Director of Sales and Product Development Geraint Lloyd explained that the Watchkeeper X drone is compatible with NATO standards.
“Watchkeeper X is a tactical UAV, it flies at about 16,000 feet, operates at a speed of about 85 kilometers per hour and has what we call a persistent surveillance capability, constantly carrying two sensor systems. (…) We have in the back what we call an electro-optical sensor, and in front is a radar from Thales, which offers operating capabilities in all weather conditions. Also, the arming capability of this drone comes from our division in the UK, and putting all this together we have a 100% NATO compatible solution, certified to operate in civilian airspace. (…) So it is a dual-use equipment – military and civilian. To conclude, we believe, together with our partners today, that this system will fully meet the requirements of the endowment programs of the Romanian Armed Forces “, Geraint Lloyd appreciated.
The drones built by U-TacS use information technology produced by the British company Thales, and the director for Aerospace Defense and Security of Thales Systems Romania, Cristian Silviu Şfichi, stressed during the memorandum signing ceremony that the company’s goal is to produce for the Army Romanian a quality product made in Romania.
“This partnership is the beginning of a road (…), our final goal being to deliver to the Romanian Armed Forces a product made in Romania, customized for the requirements of the Romanian Army, which can be functional and maintained and operational many years from now. (…) My colleagues, the 600 engineers from Thales Romania – and we hope that at the end of the year we will be 800 – are with you to deliver together and on time a product so necessary to the Romanian Armed Forces “, the representative specified Thales Systems Romania.
U-TacS, a joint venture of Elbit UK – Thales UK, is the UK’s commercial leader in the design, manufacture, implementation and support of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) tactical systems and the developer of Watchkeeper, the largest tactical drone program from Europe.
Watchkeeper is the largest tactical drone program in Europe. The system was tested on a mission in Afghanistan and Iraq, where it played a crucial role in protecting troops. Watchkeeper operates in land, sea and coastal areas, day and night, in extreme weather and low visibility conditions, including areas without GPS coverage. It is a system certified to NATO standards and also certified to fly in civilian airspace. In August last year, the Watchkeeper monitored the English Channel, supporting efforts to combat illegal migration. The modular design of the system (scalable architecture) allows further developments to keep pace with technological advancement, but also customizations according to user requirements and needs.

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