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US to procure more Boeing Insitu ScanEagle drone systems for Afghanistan

Boeing subsidiary Insitu was awarded an almost $11 million contract for the supply of 27 ScanEagle unmanned aerial systems for Afghanistan, a U.S. Department of Defense release said.

The $10,826,778 modification to an earlier delivery order “provides for the procurement of 27 ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems, 37 payloads and spares in support of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” the Tuesday, July 24 release said.

Work under the contract is expected to be completed in December 2019 and uses building partner capacity funds.

In March, Insitu was awarded a $47 million contract for the supply and operation of eight ScanEagle systems for the Afghan Security Forces, to be completed in March 2019. Last July, Insitu was awarded a $19,611,424 contract for five ScanEagle systems and a similar support package for the Afghan Security Forces.

The system has been used by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces since April 2016.

ScanEagle is a small, portable low-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle used for battlefield intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance since August 2004 in the Iraq War.

With a flight endurance of over 20 hours, the drone carries a stabilized electro-optical and/or infrared camera on a lightweight inertial stabilized turret system. It can also carry a miniature synthetic aperture radar.

The aircraft is launched from the “SuperWedge” pneumatic launcher and recovered using the “Skyhook” retrieval system, which uses a hook on the wingtip to catch a rope hanging from a pole.

A single ScanEagle system reportedly comprises four air vehicles, a ground control station, a remote video terminal and the launch and recovery systems.

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