According to a report from Jane’s Defense Weekly, Romania intends to start producing unmanned aerial vehicles in the field of surveillance, reconnaissance, and rescue. To this end Romania’s Aerostar has signed an agreement to collaborate with Britain’s U-TacS.
Aerostar is likely to produce the drones in the Romanian city of Bacau, where it is based; incidentally, it also signed the bilateral trade agreement in Bacau.
U-TacS was created when Israel’s Elbit Systems and Britain’s Thales decided to collaborate on developing the Watchkeeper X drone in 2015.
Watchkeeper X is equipped with several cameras, sensors, radars, and effectors, built on a modular architecture allowing its flight system sufficient room for future upgrades, as well as for the integration of new C4ISP solutions in the future.
The basic model of the drone is a complex system of day and night navigation cameras and systems. Watchkeeper X’s modular architecture allows it to be “armed” with various payload sensors, electro-optical and infrared towers, surface and sea surveillance radars, communications and intelligence systems, electronic support, and a cryptographic communication system.
Neither companies have disclosed on whether the Romanian company will produce the drone with its full set of equipment, or whether it will produce only the basic model required for the local market.
So far, it is unclear whether the Romanian manufacturer will offer the drone on the international market.
Incidentally, Bulgaria is a NATO member state, and the military alliance requires both attack and reconnaissance drones.
In 2020, talks were rife among officials from the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense of Sofia intending to purchase Turkey’s Bayrakar TB2 drone.