SPX, St Louis: ScanEagle, a long-endurance fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Boeing and The Insitu Group, has successfully completed sea trials aboard the USS Cleveland as part of the U.S. Navy-sponsored 2005 Joint Task Force Exercise.
The two week exercise off the San Diego coast tested and evaluated the battle group's reaction to multiple wartime scenarios, and is the final certification prior to deploying.
The trials verified ScanEagle's shipboard launch and recovery capabilities as the UAV completed four launches and captures, as well at 68 approaches, aboard the Cleveland. ScanEagle also provided real-time video to ships in the fleet during the exercise.
“ScanEagle performed exceptionally well during the trials and demonstrated it will be a valuable tool to have in the Navy's arsenal,” said Peggy Holly, Boeing ScanEagle program manager.
“While ScanEagle has already proven its worth in Iraq, this exercise was the first time ScanEagle was launched and recovered aboard a U.S. Navy ship.”
In April 2005, Boeing received a $14.5 million contract from the U.S. Navy for unmanned aerial vehicle services in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror. Boeing will provide ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles, communication links and ground equipment to support the Navy's requirements.
The Navy plans to use ScanEagle during Naval Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) missions to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) coverage and to increase oil platform security in the Persian Gulf. The UAVs supporting ESG will be ship-launched and recovered.
In Iraq, ScanEagle is currently providing tactical commanders with critical real-time imagery used to develop a clearer picture of the battlefield.
Since being deployed with the First Marine Expeditionary Force last summer, ScanEagle has surpassed 3,600 combat flight hours during operational missions. The Marines have relied heavily on the system due to its long-endurance capability, unique ISR value and ability to operate in a harsh weather environment.
Phantom Works, the advanced research and development unit and catalyst of innovation for Boeing, is assisting with ScanEagle's development. Through its Integrated Defense Advanced Systems group, Phantom Works provides leading edge systems and technology solutions to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.