UK adds another drone to its arsenal

ScanEagleThe UK Ministry of Defence confirmed that it has signed a £30 million deal with Boeing subsidiary Insitu for the ScanEagle drone.

ScanEagle is an unarmed surveillance drone that is to be used in a maritime role by the Royal Navy.  This latest contract makes the sixth type of unmanned drone that UK forces have in their arsenal with all three services –  army, air force and navy – now operating unmanned drones.

MoD minister Philip Dunne said  that the “continued investment in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems is essential to keeping our Armed Forces up-to-date with the latest capabilities.” However the ScanEagle is not being bought, rather it is being rented in a similar way that the UK is leasing the Israeli Hermes 450 drone for use in Afghanistan.

The contact, which lasts up until 2015, is for a  “contractor-owned contractor-operated service” with civilian contractors operating the ScanEagle from onboard ship.

The ScanEagle is launched from catapult, has a range of around 100km and can stay aloft for up to 24 hours.  Below is a video of ScanEagle in operation with the Dutch Navy.

One thought on “UK adds another drone to its arsenal

  • The story here is not the drone, but the step towards putting contractors on a warship.

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