The Scan Eagle has a range up to 80nm (148km) and an endurance of up to 18h. It is launched from the cutter deck using a catapult and recovered with a skyhook. The UAVs will carry a variety of payloads for the USCG, including electro-optical, mid-wave infrared, and visual detection and ranging sensors, as well as a laser pointer and communications relay hardware.
The UAVs will help extend the range of the USCG’s cutters, says Captain Carl Riedlin, USCG chief of aviation.
“It’s a chance for the cutter to be able to push away from their immediate area, not necessarily have to launch a helicopter to be able to see further out,” he says.
The UAVs will be used to assist in search and rescue, stopping drug smuggling and ice-breaking missions, among other applications. Read more
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