The US Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted Insuti Inc to deliver an additional six ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) to Lebanon.
The USD8.2 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract includes related support equipment, training, site activation, technical services, and data for the government of Lebanon. Work is expected to be completed in June 2020. Lebanon is understood to have received an initial batch of ScanEagle UASs in 2015, although no details were disclosed at the time or since.
One UAS typically comprises up to 12 air vehicles as well as associated pneumatic launchers and Skyhook recovery apparatus, meaning that this latest contract could cover as many as 72 ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The ScanEagle aircraft is 1.2 m long, has a wingspan of 3 m, and is launched using a pneumatic catapult and recovered by the company’s Skyhook system. It has a service ceiling of 10,000 ft and an endurance of more than 20 hours. The ScanEagle is equipped with electro-optic, infrared, and high-resolution video cameras that enable the operator to track stationary and moving targets.
Developed from the SeaScan UAS, which is used by commercial trawlers off the United States to scout ahead of their fishing fleets, the ScanEagle in many respects has become the yardstick by which other tactical unmanned aircraft in its class are measured. It has seen great success in both the maritime and land domains since first being deployed with the US military in 2004, seeing operational service in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.
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