[Corrects the ScanEagle variant eligible for NightEagle upgrade to Block E.]

Insitu has unveiled a new version of the ScanEagle unmanned air system featuring a bulbous nose containing a new sensor for surveillance operations at night.

The so-called NightEagle has already accumulated 260 sorties under a contract with the US Special Operations Command, Boeing subsidiary Insitu says. Canada's Department of National Defence also has operated the NightEagle under an umbrella service contract signed in May 2008.

NightEagle UAV - Insitu 
© Insitu

The NightEagle now carries the first-generation FLIR Systems mid-wave infrared (MWIR) Recon-3 camera. But by April 2010, Insitu plans to field an upgraded MWIR camera supplied by Finmeccanica subsidiary DRS Technologies, says Erik Edsall, Insitu's business development director.

The NightEagle sensor system can be installed on any Block D version of the ScanEagle, with the conversion process taking an experienced mechanic about 2h, Edsall says.

 NightEagle recovery - Insitu
© Insitu

Insitu designed the NightEagle to be launched and recovered from the same systems used by the ScanEagle and larger Integrator UAS airframes.

Source: Flight International