Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (TUAVs) fill the capability gap between the short range mini-UAVs and the long range, extended endurance MALE and HALE UAVs, combining the flexibility of the smaller platforms with the longer endurance of the higher-end platforms.
Building on the success of the Watchkeeper programme, Thales brings subsystem manufacture, system integration and prime contracting experience together to offer a complete scalable TUAV solution that can be tailored to the needs of the individual customer.
Thales' TUAV System delivers timely, cost-effective ISTAR, 24 hours a day and in all weather conditions.
- Provision of ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaisance) for warfighting and peacekeeping purposes
- Monitoring of civil unrest
- Border patrol
- Surveillance of pipelines and other high value assets
- Monitoring of illegal activity (e.g. drug smuggling, illegal logging and fishing)
In August 2005 Thales signed a €1bn prime contract to provide the Watchkeeper TUAV System to the UK Armed Forces. Watchkeeper is currently the largest single UAV programme in Europe, and has created and sustained a substantial number of jobs within the UK. Thales is offering a scalable variant of the system to export customers.
Thales achieved the first flight of a tactical-sized UAV in UK airspace when it flew the Hermes 450 at ParcAberporth in September 2005.
Thales is highly active in promoting its TUAV capability in the UK and French domestic markets, as well as in various countries worldwide.