Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Royal Navy gets new spy drone in £30m deal

The Royal Navy is to get unmanned reconnaissance aircraft designed specifically for the maritime environment as part of a £30m deal, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

ScanEagle, which can be launched from both Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships, can be used at day or night to gather intelligence.

The aircraft, which is launched using a pneumatic catapult, will be commanded by a specialist team on board ships.

Built by Insitu, part of Boeing Defence UK, it can fly at 60 knots, with a wingspan of just over three meters and a weight of 22kg.

Captain Ian Annett, who's been involved with the project, said: "ScanEagle represents an important addition to the Royal Navy's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

"Its ability to deploy during the day and night coupled with the technology it uses, will give commanders a clearer picture of the operational situation whenever it's required."

Defence minister Philip Dunne added: "ScanEagle provides the Royal Navy with proven surveillance capability that has already been used on operations by other nations, so we know we are getting top quality equipment. The technology is off-the-shelf and will be available to the Royal Navy as soon as possible.

"Our continued investment in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems is essential to keeping our armed forces up to date with the latest capabilities and this will be a central part of the MoD's investment in new equipment over the next 10 years."

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