News story: Royal Navy's new 'eye in the sky'

Ministry of Defence said:
ScanEagle is a maritime reconnaissance asset that can be launched off the back of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships day or night to gather intelligence and survey the wider area of operations.
Built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing Defence UK Limited, the ScanEagle is the first maritime-specific unmanned air system capability to be delivered in support of naval operations.
It will complement the existing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets used on operations such as helicopters and long-range radar.

The ScanEagle ready for launch on a pneumatic catapult [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]The unarmed aircraft, which has a wingspan of just over 3 metres and weighs 22 kilograms, is launched from ships into the sky by a pneumatic catapult.
Flying at about 60 knots, it is commanded by a specialist team on board the ship who will plan the ScanEagle’s missions, control its flights and monitor and analyse the information it gathers using its state-of-the-art sensors.
At the end of its flight, the ScanEagle is recovered back to the ship.

The ScanEagle is launched from ships by a pneumatic catapult [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]Royal Navy Captain Ian Annett, who’s been involved with the project, said:
ScanEagle represents an important addition to the Royal Navy’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. 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.

A specialist team on board a ship prepares to recover the ScanEagle [Picture: Boeing Defence UK]Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:
ScanEagle provides the Royal Navy with proven surveillance capability that has already been used on operations by other nations, so we know we are getting top quality equipment. The technology is off-the-shelf and will be available to the Royal Navy as soon as possible.
Our continued investment in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems is essential to keeping our Armed Forces up-to-date with the latest capabilities and this will be a central part of MOD’s investment in new equipment over the next 10 years.

A mere 7 years after first being trialled, then a spot of dithering and requirements writing, then Libya which proved the value of this piece of kit, just not with the RN, then a gold plated spec that no one bothered to respond to, then a re tender and down select where the obvious answer all along was indeed the winner

The timing is spot on as well, just as the US are moving to a more capable and heavier version but using the same launch and recovery system
So does the UK now have Aircraft Carriers?
You might aswell call it the ****ing scran eagle all its good for is scouting for bars and scoff when the matelots go ashore. I'm 98% sure the yanks had something like this in golf war one.
I think they used some sort of UAV (or whatever they are called today) for spotting for the guns of the USS Missouri and Wisconsin.

Scan Eagle is different. I think it is intended to provide a low cost eye in the sky, with a possible range of something like 60 miles from the mother ship and and endurance of something like 20 hours.

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