The US Department of Defense announced on November 19 that it has ordered a further 15 Boeing-Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the Afghan National Army (ANA).
The US$9.76m contract exercises options to procure the additional 15 platforms, along with nine ScanEagle payloads and three lots of spares. The deal also includes further support for the ANA’s already established fleet of ScanEagles, which provide the air arm with an unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.
Work under this contract will be performed at Insitu’s facility in Bingen, Washington, and is expected to be completed in July 2021. The US Naval Air Warfare Center’s Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, New Jersey is leading the contracting activity.
The ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude UAS that was designed by Insitu – a subsidiary of Boeing. It is launched autonomously by a catapult launcher and is retrieved by a SkyHook recovery system, meaning that no runway is required for its operation. Boeing states that the ScanEagle can be flown at altitudes of up to 19,500ft and is able to “loiter over a battlefield for extended missions of 24+ hours, depending on system configuration.”