Thales and the Qatar to Develop An Optionally Piloted Vehicle

By on Monday, March 31st, 2014

Thales has today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Qatar Armed Forces to assist in the development of an Optionally Piloted Vehicle – Aircraft (OPV-A), a high performance Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) system, and the delivery of a full end-to-end training solution.

The OPV-A airframe, to be selected by the Qatar Armed Forces, will be integrated with a mission systems capability to enable the optionally piloted capability.

The Optionally Piloted Vehicle – Aircraft (OPV-A) to be developed is a hybrid between a conventional aircraft and an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). They are able to fly with or without a pilot on board the aircraft. Unimpeded by a human’s physiological limitations, an OPV is able to operate under more adverse conditions and/or for greater endurance times. Retaining on-board controls, the OPV can operate as a conventional aircraft during missions for which direct human control is preferred or desired as an immediate option.

“This is an exciting prospect that Thales is looking forward to developing with the Qatar Armed Forces. Our experience in mission systems and unmanned air vehicles will provide Qatar with a world leading solution,” said Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK.

Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. Thales UK employs 7,500 staff based at 35 locations. In 2013 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3 billion.

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