Boeing is looking to offer its highly successful ScanEagle UAV to India, Dr. Vivek Lall, Vice President, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, India, said.
In an interview to defenseworld.net, Dr. Lall said the ScanEagle will be offered to India as part of its homeland defence and security products range.
Executives will be at hand at the Aero India 2011 show in Bangalore to explain features of the ScanEagle UAV.
Originally developed to help fishing boats track tuna schools and dolphins, the ScanEagle’s combination of range, 20 hour loiter time, and small logistical and operational requirement makes it unique. ScanEagle is launched via a pneumatic catapult, and flies pre-programmed or operator-initiated missions guided by GPS and its onboard flight control system. The ScanEagle has an all-terrain recovery system; it uses a “Skyhook,” in which the UAV catches a rope hanging from a 50-foot/ 15 meter high pole. The patented system allows ScanEagle to be runway-independent and operate from rough terrain or ships.
The ScanEagle requires fewer operators and less ground support than other long-endurance UAVs such as the Predator which requires a runway. Unlike mini-UAVs, this 4-foot aircraft with a 10 foot wingspan can keep its sensors on a pre-set target or flight path for 10-15 hours without requiring operator intervention. That’s over twice as long competing UAVs.
In India, the ScanEagle could be of tremendous value in intelligence gathering in border areas and on the sea.