The ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has flown its last mission in Afghanistan, with the Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) taking over the surveillance role in full.
Source: Australian Department of Defence
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Joint Operations Chief Lieutenant General Ash Power said the ScanEagle had provided constant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to ground elements in Afghanistan since 2007.
“During that time the ScanEagle has made significant contributions to the force protection and situational awareness of the coalition force soldier on the ground,” he said.
“This was an average of 22 hours per day over the four-year-and-10-month period – a tremendous effort.”
About 180 Australian Defence Force personnel deployed in support of the ScanEagle, mostly from 20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment, with elements from 16th Air Defence Regiment, Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation, 1st Topographic Survey Squadron and 16th Aviation Brigade.
“ScanEagle has been the vehicle for the Australian Army to develop its UAV capability and the Army is now taking the next step by employing the Shadow 200 TUAS,” Lieutenant General Power said.
During its five years in operation in Afghanistan, ScanEagles flew about 32,000 hours in more than 6,200 missions in support of the Reconstruction Task Force, Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force, MTF, Combined Team – Uruzgan and the Special Operations Task Group.
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