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Australian Navy flight tests its ScanEagles

Australians put ScanEagle UAS to the test.

By Richard Tomkins
Australian Navy flight tests its ScanEagles
Royal Australian Navy completes flight tests for the Insitu ScanEagle remotely piloted aircraft system. Photo courtesy Insitu

CANBERRA, Australia, May 23 (UPI) -- The Royal Australian Navy has completed first-of-class flight trial for its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.

ScanEagle -- for surveillance and reconnaissance -- sends video and telemetry to its control station in near real time and can be configured with various sensors and propulsion modules.

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The system has an operating range of as much as 124 miles and a flight endurance of more than 12 hours.

The trial was conducted from HMAS Choules to validate the system's operating limits.

"Over the two weeks on Choules, ScanEagle conducted 26.1 hours of embarked flight operations during the trial, spread among eight sorties," said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Hyam, the ScanEagle detachment leader. "This allowed us to validate operating limits for Choules and gather information to inform to future acquisition projects."

The ScanEage system consists of a mission control station, catapult launcher, recovery system and multiple unmanned aircraft. The standard navy crew model is an air vehicle operator, mission commander and ground crew.

The Royal Australian Navy said its non-commissioned crew remotely pilot the aircraft, with airspace and mission control provided by aircrew officers.

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