Air Platforms

AUSA 2018: Insitu touts ScanEagle unmanned vehicle for multi-domain operations

11 October 2018

Insitu is promoting its ScanEagle UAV as a solution for the US Army's multi-domain operations effort. Source: Boeing

Key Points

  • Insitu is touting its ScanEagle UAV for multi-domain operations
  • Multi-domain operations against peer competitors is a priority of the US Army

Insitu is promoting its ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as a solution for the US Army’s move towards a multi-domain operations strategy for defeating peer competitors.

Brian Zarchin, Insitu US Army business development executive, told Jane’s on 9 October at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, DC, that ScanEagle can perform manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) in maritime environments with Boeing’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. ScanEagle, he said, can provide survivability by extending a sensor further into a hostile area than an Apache could penetrate. Apaches, he said, are flying from US Navy (USN) ships to prove operational concepts mating navy ships with army aircraft.

“If [pilots] can designate a target and positively ID what they are shooting at, they could stand off at range, put [ScanEagle] in harm’s way, and they could put a Hellfire missile right where they want,” Zarchin said.

Zarchin said Insitu has demonstrated the ability to provide ScanEagle metadata and video inside an Apache cockpit. This, he said, enables the Apache sensor to queue where the sensor is looking. Zarchin said an Apache operator could push a button and display what ScanEagle sees.

Zarchin believes ScanEagle, as part of MUM-T, offers an excellent value in lethality for a Group 2 aircraft. Keith Hirschman, Insitu director of defence programmes, told Jane’s on 9 October that the company is experimenting with signals intelligence (SIGINT) and electronic warfare (EW) payloads on ScanEagle in tandem with Apache.

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