Boeing Awarded U.S. Marine Corps Contract to Extend ScanEagle Services
The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a three and one half-year, $18 million U.S. Marine Corps contract to provide additional ScanEagle® intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support services to the Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF). Boeing, in partnership with Insitu, Inc., developers of ScanEagle, make up Team ScanEagle.
ScanEagle, a long-endurance, fully autonomous unmanned aircraft, has been used by the Marines since July 2004, the U.S. Navy since September 2005 and the Australian Defense Forces since November 2006. During that time, ScanEagles have flown more than 4,600 sorties and 50,000 flight hours, including 34,000 hours with the MEF.
The contract, awarded by the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va., includes options for additional support that could increase the contract value to $381.5 million.
The initial agreement calls for several system upgrades, including the new ScanEagle Block D air vehicle, Rover III forward display system compatibility, an enhanced infrared payload and a mode C transponder.
“These enhancements to the ScanEagle system will broaden its base of operations and allow it to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Jim Havard, Boeing MEF program manager.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to further serve the Marine Corps in force protection and associated missions, and with this long-term commitment, we can continue to enhance capability while expanding our Marine Corps operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terror,” said Don Haas, Insitu director of Operations Support.
A ScanEagle air vehicle carries inertially stabilized electro-optical and infrared cameras. The gimbaled cameras allow the operator to easily track both stationary and moving targets. Capable of flying above 16,000 feet, the platform provides persistent low-altitude reconnaissance.
ScanEagle is launched autonomously via a pneumatic SuperWedge™ catapult launcher and flies pre-programmed or operator-initiated missions. An Insitu-patented SkyHook™ system is used for retrieval, with the aircraft catching a rope suspended from a 50-foot-high tower. The patented system makes the ScanEagle system runway-independent with a small footprint similar to that needed for vertical takeoff and landing vehicles.
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