Netherlands Ministry of Defense signs contract with Insitu

for delivering its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the Netherlands to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) for the Ministry of Defense (MOD).

The Netherlands will use ScanEagle with the MOD both domestically and abroad.

ScanEagle will provide the MOD an ISR capability during the second half of 2012, replacing a program that ended in the middle of 2011.  Looking forward, Netherlands MOD and Insitu plan to continue to explore the potential for multi-mission ISR capabilities using a next-generation Insitu UAS that carries multiple ISR sensors and enables rapid, robust payload integration.

ScanEagle is a mature system already established with other international customers. The system is combat-proven, with more than 580,000 combat flight hours since it first deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004. Endurance exceeding 24 hours allows customers to respond to the unexpected.

ScanEagle’s rapid response, expeditionary capabilities are punctuated by the success of dozens of shipboard deployments with the U.S. Navy since 2005. Insitu’s SkyHook retrieval system allows for aircraft recovery without the use of nets or runways—and without the dangers associated with ship overfly: A vertical rope arrests aircraft flight by catching a hook on the wing of the aircraft. In 2009, ScanEagle was noted for the rapid response ISR that it provided during the recovery of merchant marine Captain Richard Phillips, who was being held by Somali pirates.

Personnel from the Joint ISTAR command are now taking courses to begin operating the system later this year.

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