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Insitu nabs $47.9M to deliver ScanEagle drones to four U.S. allies in Asia

Insitu is due to deliver a total of 34 ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

By Allen Cone
Sgt. Michael Kropiewnicki, a U.S. Marine Corp combat videographer, launches a ScanEagle unmanned aerial system during an exercise at Yuma, Ariz., in 2006. Photo by by Sgt. Guadalupe Deanda/U.S. Marine Corps
Sgt. Michael Kropiewnicki, a U.S. Marine Corp combat videographer, launches a ScanEagle unmanned aerial system during an exercise at Yuma, Ariz., in 2006. Photo by by Sgt. Guadalupe Deanda/U.S. Marine Corps

June 3 (UPI) -- Insitu was awarded a $47.9 million contract for 34 ScanEagle reconnaissance unmanned air vehicles for four governments in Asia.

The Boeing subsidiary will provide 12 aircraft for Malaysia, 8 for Indonesia, 8 for the Philippines and six for Vietnam, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Friday.

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The order also provides for spare payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training, technical services and field service representatives for each nation.

Seventy-seven percent of the work will be performed at Insitu's plant in Bingen, Wash., as well at multiple shore and at sea locations, including 9 percent in Malaysia, 5 percent each in Philippines and Vietnam, and 4 percent in Indonesia.

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Work is expected to be completed in March 2022.

Foreign military sales funds in the full amount of the contract will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This order combines purchases for each of the governments under the foreign military sales program.

Starting in 2004, the U.S. Marine Corps contracted Boeing to provide services support to protect Marines deployed in Iraq. The Air Force purchased one ScanEagle system in late 2006 and deployed it to Iraq.

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The ScanEagle weighs only 39.7 pounds with a length of 3.9 feet and wingspan of 10.2 feet. It can fly for 20-plus hours at a speed of 55-80 mph up to 16,000 feet.

Rather than being launched from an airfield, the ScanEagle takes off from a pneumatic launcher, known as the SuperWedge. It is recovered using the "Skyhook" retrieval system -- a hook on the end of the wingtip to catch a rope hanging from a 30-to-50-foot pole, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The ScanEagle system includes a ground control station, remote video terminal, and a launch and recovery system, and is run by two specially trained personnel.

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"Expeditionary and versatile ScanEagle delivers persistent imagery on land or at sea at a fraction of the cost of other remote sensing methods," the company said on its website.

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