Thales UK is to extend assessment phase activities related to the UK Ministry of Defence's future Watchkeeper unmanned air vehicle system under a £6 million ($11.2 million) contract announced late last month. The MoD in December delayed launching the £800 million programme, but says it is "making positive progress towards a main gate decision" early this year. The new programme phase covers risk-reduction work linked to the UAV system's airworthiness approval and acceptance criteria, says Thales. The company is expected to deliver first services under the Watchkeeper deal from late next year.

Source: Flight International