Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Boeing Company, has secured a multi-year contract to provide drone-based solutions to US coastal organisation.
Under the new USCG contract framework, Insitu’s ScanEagle will provide small UAV services aboard the entire US Coast Guard National Security Cutter fleet.
The service contract is valued at approximately $117m (£88m) and covers the installation and deployment of sUAS for 200 hours per 30-day operational patrol period.
ScanEagle will conduct surveillance, detection, classification and identification operations. It will also support prosecution by providing real-time imagery, data, target illumination, communications relay and other capabilities to the fleet and other government platforms as needed.
In 2016, Insitu won the contract to provide sUAS ISR services aboard one National Security Cutter, and by January 2018 it had directly assisted the ship’s crews in seizing more than $1.5 billion (£112 billion) of cocaine and heroin, contributing to the USCG’s record-breaking year for drug busts in 2017.
“We recognised what an incredible opportunity we had to partner with the US Coast Guard to bring dynamic improvements to mission effectiveness and change aviation history,” said Don Williamson, vice president and general manager, Insitu Defense.
“The USCG will continue to push the limits of unmanned aviation,” said Williamson. “We are proud to have earned the opportunity to continue to support the invaluable service the men and women of the US Coast Guard provide to this country.”
The US Coast Guard began infrastructure installation in April 2018, with plans to begin installing hardware on Coast Guard Cutters James in fall 2018, Munro in late winter 2019 and Bertholf in late spring or early summer 2019.