WASHINGTON, (BM) – The US Department of Defense has given the green light to an order from Afghanistan for the production and purchase of unmanned aerial vehicles for the needs of the Afghan army, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing a press release issued by the Pentagon. According to preliminary information, it is about 15 of the ScanEagle drones, and the order is worth nearly 10 million dollars.
ScanEagle for Afghanistan will be manufactured by Boeing’s subsidiary Insitu Inc, based in Bingen, Washington. It is also clear from the press release that the Afghan army will receive additional batches, which are necessary for reconnaissance and surveillance operations. According to preliminary information, the drones are expected to be delivered to Kabul at the end of 2021.
The military drone ScanEagle was born as an idea of an existing drone of the American company, which was designed to track fish passages. ScanEagle is a low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle. The drone has other functions from its commercial variant, such as collecting meteorological data. In 2004, Boeing saw significant military intelligence potential in the Insitu’s commercial drone and decided to begin a reorientation in the field of defense and intelligence. ScanEagle even had real combat missions in the same year [2004 – ed.] In Iraq, where it reconnoitered certain enemy combat positions.
What exactly is the military reconnaissance drone ScanEagle? It is a complex system of combined electro-optical and infrared cameras and sensors, as well as a built-in communication and navigation system. It can stay in the air for at least 20 hours, and the maximum speed when flying reaches 80 knots or 150 km / h. A variant of this drone known as the Bock D holds the record for endurance in the air of 22 hours and 8 minutes.
ScanEagle is popular drone in Asian countries. Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam purchased last year ScanEagle UAVs totaling $47,9 million. The order was for 34 ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles for the governments of Malaysia ; Indonesia ; Philippines ; and Vietnam . According the U.S. DoD information, Malaysia paid $19 million, Philippines paid $9,5 million; Vietnam paid $9,7 million and Indonesia paid $9,7 million.
Backed by the experience of more than 965,000 flight hours on land and at sea, the aircraft maximizes commonality with Insitu systems, saving money on life-cycle costs and training.
Read more: Top 5 best combat drones [UAVs] in the world
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