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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) original budget, (b) projected final cost, (c) expected timescales for delivery, (d) primary contractor and (e) identity of additional consortium members are in relation to the Watchkeeper Surveillance System project.
The initial approved cost for the Watchkeeper project was £908 million and the forecast procurement costs are £904 million. These are reductions in the previously reported costs due to changes in the Ministry of Defence accounting procedures. The approved initial three year support cost for Watchkeeper is £55 million, with a current forecast cost of £53 million.
Watchkeeper platforms will be delivered in the first quarter of 2012. Thales (UK) is the prime contractor on the Watchkeeper programme. Major subcontractors include Elbit Systems and UAS Tactical Systems Ltd; however Thales are not developing Watchkeeper as part of a consortium.