2015 Report details for project: WATCHKEEPER

Project name: WATCHKEEPER - there are 7 reports for this project: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
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Organisation: MOD (D17) - see all reports for this organisation
Report year: 2015 (data is from Sept 2014)
Category: Military - see all reports for this category
Description: WATCHKEEPER will provide the operational commander, (normally Army) with a 24 hour, all weather, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capability supplying accurate, timely and high quality imagery to support decision making. The system consists of unmanned air vehicles, sensors, data links, ground control stations and tactical ground vehicles, allowing it to operate from both deployed operating bases and austere air-strips. Watchkeeper deployed to Afghanistan in 2014, but is still very much in development until Full Operating capability is generated in 2017.
DCA (RAG): Amber/Green
DCA text: The capability is still in development and will require considerable further development to reach the Full Operating Capability in 2017. WATCHKEEPER is a first-of-type Unmanned Air System (UAS) and there is no other bench-mark system to compare progress against. The most significant challenge is the establishment of the training systems and capacity in the UK for this novel capability which will sustain the growth of the capability, whilst simultaneously conducting the test and evaluation of the FOC capability. This will require careful management of the initial small cohort of military and civilian operators and instructors in 2015/16. The other significant challenge will be the development of Boscombe Down airfield to sustain routine WATCHKEEPER operations including the more flexible and efficient use of take-off slots and airspace. This should provide the appropriate governance across the Watchkeepeer stake-holders to generate the momentum and agility required to achieve FOC.
Start date: 1998-03-01
End date: 2042-12-31
Schedule text: The programme was re-baselined in June 2014. The first major milestone (Initial Operating Capability) was achieved by deploying the capability to Afghanistan in August 2014 at the Operational Capability Unit (OCU) standard. The next milestone is to generate additional capacity of 4 Task Lines (at the OCU standard) in April 2016. The main effort is to achieve Full Operating Capability (FOC) Apr-Jul 17 with an uplift of the capability to Equipment Standard 2 (ES2). This will require a major Release to Service (RTS) amendment. The programme remains on track to achieve these milestones. Achieving programme milestones remains challenging but the re-balancing process has delivered a taut and achievable timeline.
Baseline: £63.37m
Forecast: £68.04m
Variance: 7.40%
Variance text: The budget figure (£63.37M) reflects the WATCHKEEPER annual budget allocation which was set in November 2013. The increase in the forecast against this budget (£4.67M) for the current financial year is due to a funding shortfall against the expected contingency (NATO Air Command and Control Management Organisation) funding for the year.
Whole Life Cost: £1,167.56m
WLCost text: Whole life costs currently include the Development, Manufacture, and Initial Support of the Watchkeeper System.  This includes the delivery of Equipment (54 Air vehicles and 15 Ground Control Stations), contractor logistic support, and initial training delivery of Watchkeeper Operators and Maintainers. Costs are based on a mix of Firm Price Elements (£1145.36M) and an estimate (risk assessed) for the completion of programme activities (£22.2M). Changes since Q2 2013/14 are attributable to the deferred deployment of Watchkeeper to Afghanistan, where activities required re-profiling. There has also been technical adjustment to the way costs are reported, resulting in an apparent reduction in costs - budgeted Whole Life Costs are now reported out to Full Operating Capability (2017) rather than up to 2023/24.
Sourcefile: IPA_2015.csv

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