The UK Royal Navy is poised to conduct its first operational flights with the Boeing/Insitu ScanEagleunmanned air system, as the service continues to evaluate its long-term requirements for such equipment.
“The [ScanEagle] system starts real operations from this week, on maritime security patrols in the [Arabian] Gulf and in the Indian Ocean,” says Cdr. Bow Wheaton, the RN’s maritime aviation capability desk officer. The activity will involve the service’s Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship Cardigan Bay, he adds, with the first embarked training flights having been conducted recently from the latter.
Delivered by Boeing Defence UK under a contractor-owned, contractor-operated arrangement with the Ministry of Defence, the ScanEagle service provision will deliver up to a maximum of 600 flight hours per month. Capable of operating for up to 12 hours at a time, the 48-pound aircraft carries an electro-optical and infrared sensor package to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks up to 40 nautical miles away from its launch vessel.
For the complete story by Craig Hoyle of Flightglobal.com, click here.
Photo by Boeing