The Thales-developed Watchkeeper Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) has been issued a Release to Service by the U.K. Ministry of Defence.
Thales Watchkeeper UAS. Photo, courtesy of Richard Seymour.
According to Thales, Watchkeeper is a multi sensor all-weather UAS that can remain airborne for more than 16 hours for a single mission. The British Army is looking to use the Watchkeeper for unarmed surveillance and intelligence gathering missions.
Watchkeeper is the first UAS of its type allowed to fly in U.K. airspace.
“This is a hugely significant moment in the history of unmanned aircraft systems in the UK, and indeed around the world. … At the heart of the system is the revolutionary radar sensor, developed by Thales engineers in the UK and France, which offers unmatched performance for its size and weight," said Pierre Eric Pommellet, executive vice president of Thales.