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Thales, Qatar to develop hybrid aircraft

Qatar is seeking to develop an optionally piloted aircraft and has teamed with Thales to do so.
By Richard Tomkins   |   March 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Qatar’s military has set out to develop a high-performance optionally piloted aircraft with the help of Thales, the France-headquartered defense conglomerate.

Thales said in an announcement that a company representative and a Qatari official signed a memorandum of understanding on the project Thursday.

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

The Optionally Piloted Vehicle – Aircraft, or OPV-A, will be an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance system. Thales said it will be integrated with a mission systems capability to enable the optionally piloted capability, thus a hybrid between a conventional aircraft and an unmanned aircraft system.

Thales provided no details on a development timeline or the potential monetary value of the development effort.

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