Romania will produce the Watchkeeper X reconnaissance drone

BUCHAREST, BM, ($1=4.18 Romanian Leas) – The Balkan country, Romania, intends to start production of unmanned aerial vehicles in the field of reconnaissance, surveillance, and rescue, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, quoting Jane’s. According to the British edition, the British company U-TacS and the Romanian company Aerostar have already signed a cooperation agreement.

Romania will produce the Watchkeeper X reconnaissance drone
Watchkeeper X, photo credit: U-TacS

The new drones are likely to be produced in the Romanian city of Bacau, where Aerostar is based and where a bilateral trade agreement was signed at an official ceremony, according to the mayor.

The Watchkeeper reconnaissance drone is a product of joint efforts between Israel and the United Kingdom, with Elbit Systems and Thales involved in its development. Thus was born the company U-TacS, whose base and production are located in the city of Leicester. However, the source of the Watchkeeper X drone was Thales, when in 2015 he created it and offered it to partners.

Watchkeeper X has several cameras, sensors, and sensors, as well as radars, effectors, built on a modular architecture. This allows this flight system to be flexible for future improvements and upgrades, as well as for the integration of new C4ISP solutions in the future.

The basic model of the drone is a complex system of day and night navigation cameras and systems. The modular architecture allows the Watchkeeper X to be “armed” with various payload sensors, electro-optical and infrared towers, surface and sea surveillance radars, communications and intelligence systems, electronic support, and a cryptographic communication system.

There is still no official information on whether the Romanian company will produce the drone in its full set of equipment, or will try to produce only this architecture needed for the local market. It is unclear whether the Romanian manufacturer will also offer the drone on international markets, first targeting its Balkan NATO partners – Bulgaria, Turkey, or Greece.

We remind you that Bulgaria is a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, which needs equipment with both attack and reconnaissance drones. Already last year, there was talk among the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense that Sofia intends to better study the possibilities of the Turkish drone Bayrakar TB2 for a possible purchase.

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