Reflecting the continuing tempo of operations in Afghanistan the British Defense Ministry is extending an urgent operational requirement with Thales to sustain Hermes 450 operations until the Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicle system enters service in 2011.
The Hermes 450 contract began in July 2007, with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support provided in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The deal is a “fly-by-the hour” agreement, covering the air vehicles, training defense ministry personnel to operate and maintain the system, as well as contractor logistics support.
System flight trials of the Thales Watchkeeper, which uses the Hermes 450 airframe, began late in 2008, and will continue through the course of this year.
Picture Credit Thales