Haifa, Israel - February 10, 2003 - Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ; ESLT), announced today that it has been selected, as part of Thales Team, to participate in the final phase of the UK Watchkeeper Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) assessment.
Watchkeeper will provide the UK's Armed Forces with a globally deployable capability to deliver imagery and intelligence to battlefield commanders and is a core element of the MoD's Network-Enabled Capability Strategy.
Elbit Systems will provide to Watchkeeper the class leading Hermes-180 and Hermes-450 advanced Unmanned Air Vehicles. The company's innovative design approach, state-of-the-art technologies and extensive experience in integrated UAV systems will support the team's high performance level and low risk solution for the Watchkeeper Program, as required by the UK MoD.
Elbit Systems will now actively participate in the System Integration Assurance Phase (SIAP) as part of the Thales team, to demonstrate a high level of confidence in rapid system introduction to service and provision of system required capabilities.
Joseph Ackerman, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, commented: “We are proud to be part of the Thales team for the UK Watchkeeper final assessment phase. Our substantial capabilities and extensive experience in the area of advanced UAV systems, as well as our current and future industrial activities in the UK, will contribute to the success of this highly important program.”
Thales' activities encompass optronics, air defence, sensors, communications and naval systems. The company is the UK's second largest defence contractor, having been a supplier to the MoD since the First World War. Thales now draws together, under one unifying brand name, businesses including Racal, Thomson Marconi Sonar, Shorts Missile Systems, Thorn EMI Electronics, Avimo and Pilkington Optronics. Employing 65,000 people in almost 50 countries, Thales has 12,000 staff in the UK. In 2001, Thales global revenues were £6.8 billion.