Boeing Australia Limited and Insitu, Inc., today announced that the ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has provided 5,000 hours of eye-in-the-sky surveillance and reconnaissance services to Australian Army forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"By working together as trusted partners with a common purpose, the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Boeing Australia Limited and Insitu Inc., are delivering life-saving services to Australian soldiers who are on-the-ground risking their lives," said David Withers, president of Boeing Australia Limited. "It is has been extremely rewarding for Boeing to play a key role in establishing the highly-utilised ScanEagle UAV asset as a critical component of the Australian Army's overseas force protection operations."
"Insitu has received positive feedback and an acknowledgement of our efforts in aiding the ADF soldiers," said Steve Nordlund, Insitu, Inc. vice president of Business Development and Program Management. "These encouraging reactions are what keep our team driven to continually improve the ScanEagle platform. We are honored that the services we provide help to save the lives of troops on the ground."
The fully autonomous ScanEagle UAV, developed by Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Insitu, Inc., can capture stationary and moving imagery using an inertially stabilised electro-optical or infrared camera.
Measuring four feet (1.2 metres) long with a 10-foot (3 metres) wingspan, the UAV provides more than 15 consecutive hours of "on-station" coverage. It is launched autonomously via Insitu's SuperWedge™ pneumatic wedge catapult and flies pre-programmed or operator-initiated missions guided by a Global Positioning System. It is retrieved using the SkyHook™ system in which the UAV catches a rope hanging from a 50-foot (15 meters) high pole.