The Boeing subsidiary Insitu was awarded a $47 million USD contract for the supply and operation of eight ScanEagle unmanned aerial systems for the Afghan Security Forces, a US Department of Defense press release said, as quoted by The Defense Post.
The press release issued on March 28 says the $47,037,076 USD firm-fixed-price delivery order “provides for the procurement of eight ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), spares, support equipment, one logistician field service representative (FSR); 16 FSR operators to provide ScanEagle UAS technical services; two site surveys and site activation teams; and program management to sustain and operate the ScanEagle UAS in support of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under a Building Partnership Capacity case”.
Work is expected to be completed in March 2019, the Defense Post report said.
Last July, Insitu was awarded a $19,611,424 USD contract for five ScanEagle systems and a similar support package for the Afghan Security Forces, the report said.
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 Defense Post report says 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, the report said.