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A contract to provide small UAVs ISR services aboard the US Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter fleet has been signed. Insitu’s ScanEagle will undertake detection, surveillance, classification and identification activities. It will offer imagery and data in real time, target illumination, communications relay and other capabilities to the fleet and other government platforms, thereby providing support to prosecution.
The total value of the service contract is around $117m. As per the contract, the company will install and deploy sUAS for 200 hours per 30-days operational patrol period, according to homelandsecurity-technology.com.
While the contract was won in 2016, this January, ScanEagle has already helped the STRATTON ship’s crew members to confiscate over $1.5bn of cocaine and heroin.
According to the company, “when ScanEagle initially deployed with the STRATTON, we recognized what an incredible opportunity we had to partner with the U.S. Coast Guard to bring dynamic improvements to mission effectiveness and change aviation history.”
The unmanned aircraft’s wingspan is 3.1m, its fuselage diameter – 0.2m, it is 1.2m long, and its weight when empty is 12kg. The system is in operational service with the US Marine Corps, the US Navy and the Australian Army, according to naval-technology.com. Its missions include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); special services operations; escort operations; sea-lane and convoy protection; protection of high-value and secure installations; and high-speed wireless voice, video and data communications relay.