Insitu has successfully demonstrated its ScanEagle unmanned aerial system’s (UAS) newest wide-area maritime surface search and identification technology at the UK Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise.

Held off the coasts of Scotland and west Wales, the Unmanned Warrior exercise aimed to promote the latest technologies developed by the country's defence companies.

During the event, the Insitu team deployed its ScanEagle equipped with the ViDAR payload to execute a range of maritime missions.

"ScanEagle with ViDAR is a force multiplier that will establish a new standard for global navies."

The ScanEagle flew for more than 55 hours and used fewer than eight gallons of fuel to cover 41,500km² of area.

Sentient Vision Systems-developed ScanEagle’s ViDAR is a maritime surface search with an automatic target finding capability on a group two unmanned platforms.

Using ViDAR, ScanEagle autonomously detected objects in the sea, such as two minesweepers, smaller objects including stationary jet skis and buoys at 5nm, and located 28 contacts from a less than two hours sortie.

ViDAR also facilitated the reliable detection of objects in changing weather conditions, such as clear sun to wind, rain, haze and fog.

Insitu business development vice-president Suzanne McNamara said: “During one flight our team spotted a target 19nm away before the exercise began.

“ScanEagle with ViDAR is a force multiplier that will establish a new standard for global navies. We are extremely proud of the successes we achieved during Unmanned Warrior and look forward to supporting our customers with this advanced capability.”

The 1.5m-long ScanEagle system is a medium-range, endurance unmanned air vehicle with an endurance of more than 20 hours. It can fly at a speed of 70k and is powered by a 1.9hp engine, using either heavy fuel or petrol.

It is equipped to carry a variety of payloads, namely cameras, sensors, and measuring equipment to assist the controlling ship in building a recognised maritime picture.