A Closer Look At The Surveillance Drone Iran Claims To Have Captured

ScanEage

[credit provider=”Robert Johnson — BI Military & DefenseB”]

Iran today claimed to have captured another U.S. drone. Whether or not that’s accurate remains to be seen, but what is true is that the ScanEagle drone was originally designed to help fisherman look for fish. It’s low cost, portable, long-endurance, and very effective for maritime surveillance.Able to fly over 20 hours on about one gallon of fuel, the ScanEagle is a key reconnaissance tool for U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf.

When Business Insider was aboard the USS Ponce off the coast of Iran in September for the international mine clearing exercises, the ship deployed a ScanEagle each morning and allowed us to document the process.

If Iran’s claims today are true and it did capture a ScanEagle, it might be most interested in its new cameras and video system that allow the drone to relay what it sees in vivid detail.

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title=”Here on the USS Ponce not far from the coast of Iran, the ScanEagle gets set up very early every day”
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title=”The drone’s ‘SuperWedge’ launcher is powered by pressurised air and faces off the deck toward shore — into the wind”
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title=”While waiting for the winds to shift the system powers up enough pressure to launch”
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permalink=”ground-crew-does-a-final-check-of-the-wind-speed-4″
title=”Ground crew does a final check of the wind speed”
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[slide
permalink=”and-the-launch-switch-is-activated-5″
title=”And the launch switch is activated”
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[slide
permalink=”from-about-20-fet-away-6″
title=”From about 20 fet away”
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[slide
permalink=”that-red-cord-is-pulled-to-disengage-the-lock-7″
title=”That red cord is pulled to disengage the lock”
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[slide
permalink=”the-operators-pick-this-helicopter-crew-person-to-launch-the-drone-8″
title=”The operators pick this helicopter crew person to launch the drone”
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[slide
permalink=”she-pushes-the-button-9″
title=”She pushes the button”
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[slide
permalink=”and-with-barely-a-sound-the-scaneagle-is-punched-into-the-air-10″
title=”And with barely a sound the ScanEagle is punched into the air”
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[slide
permalink=”traveling-so-fast-its-out-of-sight-within-seconds-11″
title=”travelling so fast it’s out of sight within seconds”
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[slide
permalink=”the-operators-do-a-quick-check-of-the-box-12″
title=”The operators do a quick check of the box…”
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[slide
permalink=”before-packing-up-the-launch-unit-and-rolling-it-back-to-storage-13″
title=”…Before packing up the launch unit and rolling it back to storage”
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[slide
permalink=”the-drone-is-operated-from-this-conex-on-the-upper-deck-of-the-ponce-14″
title=”The drone is operated from this ConEx on the upper deck of the Ponce”
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[slide
permalink=”but-were-not-allowed-in-15″
title=”But we’re not allowed in”
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[slide
permalink=”in-the-evening-when-the-drone-returns-to-the-ship-its-guided-in-by-onboard-gps-to-within-inches-of-that-cable-16″
title=”In the evening, when the drone returns to the ship it’s guided in by onboard GPS to within inches of that cable”
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[slide
permalink=”and-the-tip-of-its-wing-snags-like-this–on-whats-called-the-skyhook–and-thats-how-it-comes-back-to-earth-17″
title=”And the tip of its wing snags like this — on what’s called the SkyHook — and that’s how it comes back to earth”
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[slide
permalink=”and-then-the-whole-operation-begins-again-the-following-day-18″
title=”And then the whole operation begins again the following day”
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[slide
permalink=”the-uss-ponce-relies-heavily-on-the-scaneagle-19″
title=”The USS Ponce relies heavily on the ScanEagle”
content=”Now see what life is like on the Navy’s only floating base >
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[/slideshow]