Keep the paint away

From last year
Watchkeeper gets green light
Grünes Licht für Drohnensystem
On 20 July, UK Defence Secretary John Reid gave the green light to the Watchkeeper UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Programme, the UK Armed Forces' new 'spy in the sky'. He said: "Watchkeeper is the key to battlefield surveillance of the future. The new UAVs will be able to stay in the air for much longer than conventional aircraft, and will provide all-weather coverage by day and by night. UAVs are a key part of the future vision for our Armed Forces. They allow high-quality imagery of the battlefield to be passed to commanders quickly, enabling them to deliver more precise and decisive effect with greater accuracy. In addition, they improve operational effectiveness through their contribution to Network Enabled Capability."
"The contract with Thales UK will be worth around £700 million and is expected to create or sustain up to 2000 high-quality manufacturing jobs in the UK. With export success this could rise further. The aim is to bring Watchkeeper into service from 2010." Four companies (Thales UK, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin) were invited to undertake the first stage of the Assessment Phase. Northrop Grumman ISS International and Thales UK were selected in February 2003 to continue through to the second stage and to make bids for the Demonstration and Manufacture Phase. Thales UK were selected in July 2004 as preferred bidders for this final phase.
Suppose they will be OK so long as the National Guard don't shoot them down.

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