Boeing Defence UK has won a £30 million ($46.3 million) contract to provide Insitu ScanEagle unmanned air vehicle services to the Royal Navy.
"ScanEagle represents an important addition to the Royal Navy's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability," says Capt Ian Annett, who was involved with the maritime unmanned air system (MUAS) selection process. "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."
To be catapult-launched from and recovered back aboard RN surface ships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, the ScanEagle "will complement the existing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets used on operations, such as helicopters and long-range radar," the Ministry of Defence says.
Under a provisional programme schedule outlined last year, the navy's contractor-operated MUAS activity is due to be run for at least two years, via the MoD's urgent operational requirement procurement method.
"The technology is off-the-shelf and will be available to the Royal Navy as soon as possible," says minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne.