Boeing Operating ScanEagle UAVs for Australia

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ScanEagle returns(click to view full) Australia has moved ahead on a number of fronts to bolster its forces in the field with unmanned aerial vehicles. At the squad level, Elbit Systems’ Skylark IV mini-UAVs provide immediate surveillance capabilities. For longer and wider-ranging surveillance, the JP129 competition resulted in additional orders for IAI’s I-View 250, via a partnership with Boeing Australia. Recently, the ADF began contracting with Boeing for additional UAV services. The ScanEagle UAV has proven to be very popular with the US Marines and Navy, has been fitted with sniper spotter and WMD-detection packages, and can be deployed from ship or ashore. Boeing has received contracts to work alongside the ADF and operate the UAV in Iraq – and now, in Afghanistan as well. ScanEagle UAV(click for alternate view) Originally developed as a commercial venture by Insitu Inc. to help fishing boats track tuna schools and dolphins, the ScanEagle’s combination of range, long loiter time, and small logistical and operational footprints makes it somewhat unique. ScanEagle is launched autonomously via a pneumatic wedge catapult, and flies pre-programmed or operator-initiated missions guided by GPS and its onboard flight control system. Like the parachute-landed I-View, ScanEagle has an all-terrain recovery system; […]

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