Thales and Qatar armed forces to de­velop an op­tion­ally pi­loted ve­hi­cle - air­craft


Thales has re­cently 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.

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

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