Elbit signs agreement to manufacture Watchkeeper drones in Romania

Romania's Aerostar signed the agreement with British company U-TacS, a joint venture between Elbit and Thales, to manufacture the drones on Romanian soil. The Watchkeeper is based on the Hermes 450 of Israel's Elbit 

The Hermes 450. Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Romanian aircraft equipment producer Aerostar signed a cooperation agreement with British company U-TacS to manufacture Watchkeeper X drones in Romania. The British company is a joint venture between Elbit Systems and Thales to manufacture the drones in Britain, with a special factory already established in the city of Lester for production of the drones. The agreement is intended to lay the groundwork for bidding for a potential tender in Romania for supply of the aircraft.

The Janes website reported that a social media post by Lucian Daniel Stanciu Viziteu, mayor of the Romanian town of Bacau, showed a model of the Watchkeeper X drone at the signing ceremony held by the Romanian company and the British company. The Watchkeeper X, which was introduced in 2015 by Thales, is a large drone with a dual payload that allows a variety of equipment such as cameras, radar and electronic surveillance equipment to be installed.

For example, the remote-controlled aircraft can be equipped with a day/night navigational camera, optical sensors such as electro-optical and infrared equipment, ground and maritime surveillance radar, communication intelligence systems (CommINT), and cryptographic electronic support measures, according to Janes.  

There was no comment from British company U-TacS regarding the report. 

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