Re: "Watchkeeper speeds up" (Flight International, 4 December 2001), the fourth paragraph starts:

"The MoD plans to downselect to two teams for assessment phase 2, which is intended to lead to a main gate decision in the first quarter of 2004 on whether Watchkeeper will proceed into the demonstration and manufacturing phase."

I was initially somewhat confused reading this sentence as I thought that "downselect" related to the driving of an automatic car, and that "main gate" related to a factory entrance.

I have shown this to several colleagues, and our collective view is that the sentence is equivalent to:

"The MoD plans to choose two teams for the next stage of the assessment, and intends to make a final decision on the project in the first quarter of 2004." We are aware that transatlantic Jargonese is a particularly obscure dialect, and would be most grateful if you could confirm that our translation is correct.

J Goldwater

Wemyss Bay, UK

Source: Flight International