Romanian aircraft equipment manufacturer and services provider Aerostar has signed a collaboration agreement with UK joint venture U-TacS for the potential production of Watchkeeper X unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Romania.
A social media post by Lucian Daniel Stanciu Viziteu, mayor of the Romanian town of Bacau where Aerostar is based, showed a model of an armed version of the Watchkeeper X at a signing ceremony between the two companies.
UK-based U-TacS is a joint venture between Elbit Systems and Thales for the manufacture of the Watchkeeper in UK service, with a facility established in the English city of Leicester to produce the system.
The Watchkeeper X at its launch at DSEI 2015. (Janes/Patrick Allen)
The Watchkeeper X was launched by Thales in 2015, offering a dual-payload configuration on the platform to allow for cameras, radars, electronic surveillance, and effectors to be included, with a modular architecture to allow for improvements in flexibility and capability deployment.
At its launch, the standard Watchkeeper X featured a day/night navigational camera, but could be fitted with a range of optional sensors, including mixed payloads of plug-and-play HD EO/IR (electro-optical/infrared) turrets, ground surveillance radars, maritime surveillance radars, communications intelligence systems (CommINT), radar electronic support measures (RESM), and cryptographic electronic support measures (CESM).
U-TacS had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.