The US Coast Guard has awarded a contract to Insitu for the provision of ScanEagle small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for its National Security Cutters.
The contract provides for the installation of two ScanEagle systems per year and the provision of an hours-based capability of 200 hours per 30-day operational period. The total value over the seven option years of the contract is US$117m (A$157m).
The contract-operated capability will see Insitu deploy equipment, air vehicle operators and logisticians onboard the vessels to operate the capability using a model similar to that of the US Navy’s ScanEagle program.
The systems will conduct surveillance, detection, classification and identification operations for drug interdiction, living marine resources and search and rescue missions, and will be based at Alameda in California.
“The sUAS has already proven itself to be a transformational technology on the technology employment, and the deployment of this capability to the entirety of the NSC fleet is an incredibly important first step in realizing the Coast Guard’s vision of fleet-wide UAS implementation,” Cmdr Daniel Broadhurst, unmanned aircraft systems division chief in the Office of Aviation Forces said in a statement.
“The Coast Guard is excited to award the contract for the service’s first class-wide sUAS to Insitu.”
The installation of the systems on the first vessel commenced in April. The major hardware elements will be installed on the first vessel in the third quarter of 2018, and all three vessels will be fitted out by mid-2019.