Wednesday 29 May, 2024
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Elbit Systems to supply Watchkeeper X UAS to Romania

Elbit Systems has announced that it has been awarded a contract worth $180 million to supply Watchkeeper X Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to the Romanian Ministry of National Defense.

Under the purchase order, Elbit Systems will provide upgraded Watchkeeper X tactical UAS with advanced capabilities including the Spectro XR™ multi-spectral electro-optical payload, new communication capabilities and others.

The contract will see Elbit Systems supply the first three out of a maximum of seven Watchkeeper X tactical (UAS) as part of a framework contract with the Romanian Ministry of National Defense with a maximum value of approximately $410 million.

The Watchkeeper X is a state-of-the-art UAS that can perform intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions for up to 16 hours at a range of 150 kilometres.

The UAS is equipped with advanced sensors, including electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), ground moving target indicator (GMTI) and laser designator. The UAS can also carry and deploy precision-guided munitions (PGMs) such as the Elbit Systems’ Laser Homing Attack or Laser Homing Anti-Tank (LAHAT) missile.

The contract with Romania is part of a larger framework agreement between Elbit Systems and Thales UK, the prime contractor for the Watchkeeper program in the United Kingdom. The UK has been operating the Watchkeeper UAS since 2014 and has deployed it in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Watchkeeper X is an upgraded version of the Watchkeeper UAS that offers enhanced performance, reliability and survivability.

Yoram Shmuely, General Manager of Elbit Systems Aerospace said: “We welcome this partnership with Romania and their trust in our solutions. We also appreciate the continued support and collaboration with the Israeli and UK governments and our business partners on the Watchkeeper program.”

“The ongoing research and development we are investing in the Watchkeeper platform will enhance the capabilities of both the Romanian and British Armed forces to meet evolving operational requirements. This purchase order highlights the strong and growing relationship between Elbit Systems and Romania and illustrates the increased interest in our UAS platforms from countries across Europe and NATO.”

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