Defense News reported on June 5 on a contract award for 34 Insitu ScanEagle drones under the For-eign Military Sales program to U.S. partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
Under the $47.9 million contract announced May 31 by the Depart-ment of Defense, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are destined for the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Insitu, Boeing’s Bingen-based UAV subsidiary, will be manufacturing the ScanEagles. Malaysia will take the largest delivery: 12 ScanEagles. Indonesia and the Phil-ippines will get eight each. Vietnam will be receiving six.
According to Defense News, “The announcement marks the first time that military equipment will be transferred to Vietnam following the end of a U.S. arms embargo imposed since the communist take-over there in 1975. It was fully lifted in 2016.”
Insitu spokeswoman Jenny Beloy said this Foreign Military Sale is between the U.S. government and the customer, “so we don’t have any insight into the terms and conditions nor do we know the status. I can tell you that an FMS is a sale for us, and we do profit from them.”
According to the Department of Defense, the order includes spare payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training, technical services, and field service representatives. The order is ex-pected to be fulfilled in March 2022.
The Department of Defense on-line Contracts section reported the contract award in more bureaucratic language.
“Insitu Inc., Bingen ... is awarded $47,930,791 for firm-fixed-price del-ivery order N0001919F2602 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-17-G-0001) for 34 Scan-Eagle unmanned air vehicles for the governments of Malay-sia (12); Indonesia (8); Philippines (8); and Vietnam (6). Work will be performed in Bingen (77 percent); and multiple shore and at sea locations in Malaysia (9 percent); Phil-ippines (5 percent); Vietnam (5 percent); and Indonesia (4 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2022. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $47,930,791 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This order combines purchases for the governments of Malaysia ($19,329,334; 40 percent); Philippines ($9,633,665; 20 percent); Vietnam ($9,770,120; 20 percent); and Indonesia ($9,197,672; 20 percent) under the Foreign Mil-itary Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent Riv-er, Maryland, is the contracting ac-tivity.”
The ScanEagle’s versatility is one of its key advantages. It’s launched by a pneumatic catapult unit and recovered by Insitu’s Skyhook system, “which means it can be operated from any patch of open space or aboard a ship, negating the need for a runway,” Defense News said.
“Sensor payloads available for the [ScanEagle] include electro-optic, infrared and high-resolution video cameras that enable the operator to track stationary and moving targets. The UAVs will assist the recipient countries in improving maritime domain awareness over their territorial waters and exclusive economic zones,” the June 6 story noted.
Defense News added that the contract announcement came on the same day that the Department of Defense released its latest Indo-Pacific Strategy Report. “The docu-ment lists as key priorities, among other things, building partner capacity and enhancing maritime domain awareness for third party partners in the region, as well as strengthening interoperability that includes increased information sharing between the U.S. and other like-minded countries in the region.”