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06:12 PM, June 23, 2014
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Boeing released footage of ScanEagle taking flight from HMS Somerset in the Gulf. ScanEdge had been ordered by the Ministry of Defense 7 months earlier.

ScanEagle can be launched by a pneumatic catapult from Navy and Fleet Auxiliary vessels, is unarmed and used for real-time intelligence-gathering and reconnaissance only.

The ScanEagle’s missions can be planned and controlled by pilots on board. The information is gathered by sensors. It can fly at speeds up to 80 knots and stay airborne for around 10 hours, covering areas of around 60 miles. It has a high resolution camera and can be used even while there is poor visibility.

Mike Smith, commanding officer of HMS Somerset, said “ScanEagle provides us with, persistent surveillance and reconnaissance capability, supplementing our Lynx aircraft so that it can be held for higher priority missions".

“The system will fundamentally change the way we operate, making HMS Somerset more effective in operational roles we can perform; be that counter-piracy, counter-narcotics, disaster relief or war-fighting.” he said.

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