Navy Orders ScanEagle UAS for Afghan Armed Forces
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has ordered several ScanEagle unmanned aerial systems (UASs) for the Afghan Air Force to provide it with an organic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.
According to the March 28 contract announcement, the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division awarded Insitu Inc., a Boeing company, a $47 million firm, fixed-price delivery order for eight ScanEagle UASs along with spares and support equipment, two site surveys and a site activation team as well as one logistician field service representative (FSR) and 16 FSR operators to provide the services to the Afghan armed forces.
The contract also provides for “program management to sustain and operate the ScanEagle UAS in support of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under a Building Partnership.”
Although the Navy has procured several MQ-27As, based on the ScanEagle and used by special operations forces, the Navy and Marine Corps mostly have relied mostly on ISR services contracts, in which defense contractors such as Textron and Boeing’s Insitu provide contractor-owned and -operated UAS to fill a requirement for ISR for deployed forces.