Romania has formalised its order with Elbit Systems for three Watchkeeper X tactical unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for use by its army.

The contract signing took place during a meeting between Elbit chief executive Bezhalel Machlis and Romanian defence minister Angel Tilvar, says Elbit.

Watchkeeper UK

Source: Elbit Systems

A Watchkeeper UAV in service with the British Army

The Watchkeeper X is a derivative of the Hermes 450 family, and is the UK export variant of the Watchkeeper used by the British Army. It is produced by Elbit’s UK unit, U-TacS, in cooperation with Thales.

Under the agreement, Elbit will transfer technology to Romania and set up infrastructure and industrial cooperation locally. This will see the Watchkeeper X platform and ground control station produced locally. Aircraft maintenance will also be performed locally throughout the programme’s lifecycle.

“We welcome this partnership with Romania and their trust in our solutions,” says Yoram Shmuely, general manager of Elbit Systems Aerospace.

“We also appreciate the continued support and collaboration with the Israeli and UK governments and our business partners on the Watchkeeper programme. 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.”

In December 2022, Romania said it would acquire the Watchkeeper X under a deal worth around $410 million.