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Boeing ScanEagle UAV Surpasses 1000 Flight Hours in Iraq

ST. LOUIS , Nov. 11, 2004 -- ScanEagle, a long-endurance fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle developed by Boeing [NYSE:BA] and The Insitu group, this week surpassed 1,000 flight hours during operations in Iraq.

Since late summer when ScanEagle was first deployed in theater with the First Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF), the UAV has provided critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information to tactical commanders. Boeing received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps in July to provide two ScanEagle "mobile deployment units" for use with the I MEF.

"Reaching 1,000 hours in such a short period of time is the result of ScanEagle's long-endurance capability, as well as the Marine's heavy reliance on the system due to its unique ISR value," said Dave Martin, ScanEagle program manager. "Another plus is that ScanEagle has been able to operate in a harsh weather environment, including high winds, which have kept other UAVs on the ground."

Feedback regarding ScanEagle's operational effectiveness and clear, detailed imagery has been extremely positive from all echelons of The Marine Corps. ScanEagle has proven to be reliable in all weather conditions, and the information provided has been well received by Battalion Combat Operations Centers.

Each ScanEagle mobile deployment unit consists of several UAVs and computers, communication links and ground equipment necessary to provide ISR support during operational missions.

Due to its unique launch and recovery systems, ScanEagle takeoff and landings are unaffected by terrain and other conditions. ScanEagle is launched autonomously via a pneumatic wedge catapult launcher and flies pre-programmed or operator-initiated missions. It is retrieved using a "Skyhook" system in which the UAV catches a rope hanging from a 50-foot high pole. The patented system allows ScanEagle to be runway independent with a small footprint for launch and recovery operations.

ScanEagle is four-feet long with a 10-foot wingspan. For a vehicle of its size, ScanEagle's endurance/payload combination is unmatched. The ScanEagle "A-15" -- the current model -- can remain on station for more than 15 hours. Future planned variants will have an endurance of more than 30 hours.

Phantom Works, the advanced research and development unit and catalyst of innovation for the Boeing enterprise, is assisting in the development of ScanEagle. Through its Integrated Defense Advanced Systems group, it provides leading edge systems and technology solutions to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, one the world's largest space and defense businesses.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis , Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense and Department of Homeland Security; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.

The Insitu Group, located in Bingen, Wash., develops miniature robotic aircraft for commercial and military applications. Insitu, which introduced the first UAV to cross the Atlantic Ocean , developed its Seascan UAV to serve the commercial fishing industry for fish spotting, and is developing vehicles for other commercial applications. For more information about the company, see www.insitugroup.net.


Contact Info:
Chick Ramey
The Boeing Company
(206) 662-0949

Steve Nordlund
The Insitu Group
(509) 493-8600

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