British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan may use Elbit UAVs

British Army units urgently need tactical UAVs for combat operations.

Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) is negotiating with Thales for the lease of Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for British Army units in Iraq and Afghanistan. The deal is reportedly worth ₤50 million.

Thales is the chief contractor for the British Army’s $500 million Watchkeeper UAV program. The first UAVs are due for delivery in 2010. Meanwhile, Britain’s Ministry of Defence has recognized an urgent need for tactical UAVs for intelligence purpose, because the British Army’s existing UAVs cannot handle the harsh climactic conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan

“Jane’s Defence Weekly” quotes British Army sources complaining about the poor performance by their UAVs, which are causing serious operational problems by units in the field. The British Army is therefore urging procurement of an interim solution until the Watchkeeper program is implemented.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on February 20, 2007

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

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