Thales’ partnership with Israeli arms company, Elbit, has been widely researched and reported on. Here’s a few articles that you might be interested in.
Electronic Intifada: Glasgow activists arrested for shutting down drone maker tied to Gaza slaughter
“Thales UK— a subsidiary of the French company, Thales, which is ranked by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute as the eleventh largest arms producer in the world — signed a $1.6 billion contract with Israel’s largest military technology firm Elbit Systems in 2011 to develop a new drone fleet for the UK military called Watchkeeper.
“Watchkeeper is based on Elbit’s Hermes 450 model, one of Israel’s most widely deployed attack drones.
“Outfitted to carry two medium range missiles, the Hermes 450 was used by the Israeli army during its Winter 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza to deliberately target Palestinian civilians, according to an investigation by Human Rights Watch.
“This arrangement, which treats Palestine as Israel’s proprietary weapons laboratory, has paved the way for Israel to become the world’s number one exporter of drones.”
“Thales is the world’s 11th largest arms producer, with military products comprising 49% of its 2012 sales”
“The Royal Artillery has a future aspiration to weaponise Watchkeeper.”
“The Watchkeeper is built in the UK by a joint venture company, UAV Tactical Systems (U-TacS), set up by theIsraeli company Elbit Systems (51% ownership) and the Thales group. UAV Engines Ltd, who build the rotary engine in the UK, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems.”
“The UK’s Watchkeeper drone, being developed and built in conjunction with Israeli company Elbit Systems, is a good example of how Israel profits from its long experience of this new way to wage war. Indeed it could be said that if you scratch any drone you will likely find Israeli technology underneath”.
“85% of drones used by the Israeli military are manufactured by Elbit. Elbit’s armed drones are used by the Israeli army in daily surveillance and attacks in Gaza…”
“…the Elbit website advertises that the Hermes 450 drone is the “backbone of Israel’s UAS fleet” and is combat proven.”
“In December 2013 War on Want argued in its Killer Drones report that the UK was complicit in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people by “in effect, buying technology that has been ‘field tested’ on Palestinians.”
“Watchkeeper can identify and pinpoint targets, and, when appropriate, control or cue military action”.
“The aerial bombings and the ongoing ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli ground forces must be analysed in a historical context. Operation “Cast Lead” is a carefully planned undertaking, which is part of a broader military-intelligence agenda first formulated by the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001”