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ScanEagle marks flying milestone

ST. LOUIS, April 13 (UPI) -- U.S. company Boeing announced its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system marked a milestone for its operational life in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Boeing and its Insitu Inc. subsidiary developed the ScanEagle UAS as a joint project to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations. Company officials announced the ScanEagle has now flown more than 150,000 hours in Iraq and Afghanistan since its deployment in 2004.

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The ScanEagle -- operated by the U.S. Marine Expeditionary Forces, Navy and Special Operations Command, along with the Australian army and Canadian forces -- is equipped with infrared-camera technology and is capable of providing constant ISR support for more than 24 hours at a time.

"We've learned lessons from our extensive ScanEagle operations that have helped us refine the system into a mature ISR asset that is safe, dependable and satisfies the intelligence requirements of our soldiers and sailors," Jim Havard, Boeing ISR Services Marine Corps program manager, said in a statement.

"These 150,000 service hours, along with numerous operational reports from our customers, confirm that ScanEagle has established itself as a critical capability for tactical ISR around the world."

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