Boeing wins $250 million ScanEagle deal

US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been awarded Boeing a deal that could be worth up to $250 million for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) services using the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

Under the new agreement, Boeing and its subsidiary Insitu Inc. will operate, maintain and support ScanEagle systems for the Special Operations Forces Mid Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System (MEUAS) program for the next five years.
“This award is the result of a solution and a team that give warfighters what they need, leveraging our Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (STUAS) Center of Excellence for production, training, flight operations and logistics,” said Steve Sliwa, president and CEO of Insitu.

“We will also take the opportunity provided by this contract to deliver new, advanced capabilities from our existing development and production facilities here at Insitu.”

The ScanEagle team has been providing ISR services to customers since 2004, including Joint Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Teams aboard US Navy ships have supported recent successes in actions against piracy off Somalia.

In April, a Boeing/Insitu team aboard the USS Bainbridge assisted the Navy in the rescue of the captain of US-flagged ship Maersk-Alabama. The team sent a ScanEagle on missions to provide imagery of the lifeboat in which the captain was being held hostage.
“Our team’s successful past performance on service contracts was a key element of our MEUAS contract win,” said Greg Deiter, vice president of Boeing Defense & Government Services. “The customer is buying what they have come to expect from Boeing – reliable, dedicated service.”

The long-endurance, fully autonomous ScanEagle UAS carries inertially stabilized electro-optical and infrared cameras that allow the operator to track both stationary and moving targets.

Capable of flying above 16,000 feet and loitering nearly invisibly and inaudibly over the battlefield for more than 24 hours, the platform provides persistent low-altitude ISR. It has been credited with saving numerous lives during its six-year tour of duty.

ScanEagle is launched autonomously from a pneumatic SuperWedge catapult launcher and flies either preprogrammed or operator-initiated missions. The Insitu-patented SkyHook system is used to retrieve the UAS, capturing it by way of a rope suspended from a 50-foot-high mast. The system makes ScanEagle runway-independent and minimizes its impact on shipboard operations, similar to a vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicle.