Middle of September the Pentagon has signed a new contract with Boeing. In accordance with this document, the aircraft maker to do and put the armed forces of the United States a few 10’s of UAV ScanEagle. Not counting machines themselves company «Boeing» shall transfer to the customer right related equipment. The total price of all the products ordered by South American military, equates to 300 million dollars. Last drones and equipment to be delivered to illumine 2016.
Today’s agreement, signed by the Pentagon and the Boeing Company and implying supply UAV ScanEagle, is not the first similar document. In the current implementation of the same ends of the contract signed in 2009. That agreement involves the supply of drones total cost of 250 million dollars for the needs of Special Operations Forces Command (USSOCOM). So Makar, completing execution of the 1st order, designed for 5 years, the company will continue to build Boeing ScanEagle drones under the new contract.
According zabugornyh media, purpose of the new contract is the substitution of the UAV, exhaust their own resources, and supply the necessary spare parts, etc. products. So makarom new drones will not only complement, and replace existing troops. Second purpose of the treaty is to create a new system that will generate support for operating their own vehicles. It is understood that the units that use the UAV ScanEagle, will directly lead interaction with experts «Boeing», including the theaters of operations.
Operation of unmanned aircraft Boeing Insitu ScanEagle was launched in 2005. First nick steel Navy USA. Experience with the new UAV showed their effectiveness in the search and detection of different objects. The very fact of signing a new contract stipulates that the South American armed forces is one hundred percent satisfied with the available technology and are ready to continue its operation.
Similar successes ScanEagle UAV can explain his «origin.» Unmanned military use was made on the basis of a commercial project Insitu SeaScan, created to perform meteorological reconnaissance and other tasks related to work or shopping fishing fleet. In accordance with the contract between the companies and the Boeing unit Insitu SeaScan became the basis for a new military UAV.
ScanEagle is a flying machine, made on a «tailless.» UAV resettled swept wing span of 3.1 meters with a bent up wingtips. Virtually the entire trailing edge of the wing armed mechanization. Relatively small fuselage (the length is about 1.4 meters) holds inside the piston engine 1.5 hp driving the pusher propeller. ScanEagle UAV takeoff weight does not exceed 20 kg.
With such dimensions, weight and aerodynamics ScanEagle UAV flight data is optimized to perform tasks on a lasting patrolling these areas. It can fly at speeds up to 130 km / h and climb to an altitude of 4900 meters. Economical engine and comparable large fuel tanks allow the machine to fly more than 20 hours duration. Who is the record flight in 2006, which lasted 22 hours 8 minutes. Like some other modern UAV, Boeing Insitu ScanEagle does not need big equipped areas for takeoff. The device shoots a pneumatic catapult and sits by the system SkyHook. The latter is a foldout boom system with cables. UAV flies to her, clinging to the rope and down to earth. So Makar, for starting and receiving apparatus ScanEagle needs only a small area free of any structures.
In the forward fuselage ScanEagle UAV mounted gyro stabilized platform for optoelectronic systems. All modifications of this drone equipped with a camera and a thermal system data to the control panel. In the process of creating new versions of the device gets more sophisticated elements of optoelectronic complex with advanced features.
As of the middle of the past decade, when Boeing Insitu ScanEagle UAV was adopted for one complex cost about 3 million U.S. dollars. The composition of the 1st complex includes four UAVs mounted with their cameras and thermal imagers, a single control station, the system works with the video signal, the pneumatic catapult and hardware systems SkyHook. Elements of the complex can be transported and installed in vehicles, armored vehicles, ships or boats. Depending on the definition of basic technology means some complex undergo small UAV configuration. For example, the land version of the catapult system and SkyHook equipped with wheeled undercarriage, and on boats or ships, all elements of the complex are installed permanently.
First flight took place in the midst of ScanEagle UAV 2002. Two years later, several complexes were transferred to the troops in the criteria for testing the real conflict. Operation in Iraq has allowed to show advantages of the new UAV, also identify any shortcomings. After some improvements in 2005, ScanEagle was adopted by the U.S. Navy. Directly behind the naval forces started the operation of such UAVs Marine Corps and Air Force. In addition, over the next couple of years ScanEagle UAVs were purchased zabugornom several countries. Currently, they are used in the armies of Australia, England, Canada, Colombia, the Netherlands and other countries.
At the end of the past year, Iranian media released announcements, according to which Iran killed a South American Defense UAV ScanEagle, penetrator country place. Slightly later two more were captured apparatus as trophies. The Pentagon has denied the information about the loss of their own drones, and a few months after that incident revealed that Iran seized vehicles of the Canadian Forces. According to some reports, the Iranian defense industry copied South American UAVs and established mass production version of its ScanEagle.
In July this year it was announced that Boeing Insitu ScanEagle UAV received a certificate of civilian control of the Federal Aviation USA. With this document, the UAV can be used for commercial purposes. In the recent past several complexes ScanEagle will be delivered to Alaska, where they will engage in ice reconnaissance, tracking meteorological conditions, etc. The implication is that drones will be able to take part of the obligations of manned aircraft. This will allow tangibly reduce the cost of some work currently performed only aircraft.
ScanEagle UAV operation in the army lasts. Over the past eight years, Navy, Air Force and the Commission time to assess the benefits brought by these devices, and are not going to renounce their. So, as of mid-2011, all issued ScanEagle made a total difficulties 56 thousand flights a total duration of 500 thousand hours. In view of its service life, damage, etc. features operating Pentagon recently ordered the company to the producer new complexes and parts. This means that the ScanEagle is in order, at least until the 2017-18 period.