Here is a UAV that is already in use by the Navy. The ScanEagle, is so small it could operate routinely from the Webber Class WPCs.
Wing Span 10.25 ft (3.12m)
Length 6.5 ft (1.98m)
Max Take Off Weight 44-48.5 lb. (22 kg)
Max speed 80 knots
Cruise speed 50 knots
Ceiling 10,000 ft
Max endurance: 15 hours
In it’s “dual bay” configuration the sensor package can include a synthetic aperture imaging radar in addition to video. It can use standard diesel fuel, but it won’t use much since the engine is less than two horsepower.
It was reportedly used during the Maersk Alabama piracy incident in April 2009 (the first of three times pirates attempted to take the ship).
I think its worth a closer look, like perhaps a deployment on a 210.
A video of it in operation is here, including a launch and recovery from what looks like a fishing vessel less than 80 ft long.
Of course if this system becomes standard on the Webber class they will have to be reclassified as WCVL–Coast Guard Aircraft Carrier, Light. (Lee, thanks for the inspiration.)
Navy News Service – Eye on the Fleet
Customs and Border Protection looses a UAV: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/unmanned-us-aircraft-plunges-into-pacific/24155818
And Intuit builds a better Scan Eagle: http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NAVAIRNewsStory&id=5536
Video here showing some of the demonstration process. Talked about the need to have a sensor to cue the camera, but did not talk about what that sensor might be. https://www.dvidshub.net/video/328264/us-coast-guard-suas-demonstration#.U0czQknn_mJ
Coast Guard concludes small UAS test of Scan Eagle. http://www.fiercehomelandsecurity.com/story/coast-guard-concludes-small-uav-test/2014-04-21
Interesting video including some very small UAVs
Insitu is developing a larger alternative to Scan Eagle. Its gross weight being 165 pounds compared to 45 pounds for the Scan Eagle. It may have an endurance of up to 24 hours. http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140628/DEFREG02/306280019/Insitu-Developing-Heavier-Integrator-Variant
Here is information on the earlier version: http://www.insitu.com/systems/integrator
More info on the progress of this system, including a delay in testing. http://aviationweek.com/farnborough-2014/blackjack-production-nod-hold
But this sounds good:
“Work is ongoing to examine additional payloads to integrator’s standard EO/IR, communications relay and ship identification system systems. Among those being studied is a synthetic aperture radar, a beyond-line-of-sight datalink and new signals intelligence payload.”
From NavyRecognition, ” Insitu announced today the ScanEagle 2, the next generation of its revolutionary ScanEagle platform. Leveraging lessons learned from more than 800,000 operational hours, ScanEagle 2 provides increased payload power and expanded payload options, a more robust navigation system, better image quality due to a fully digital video system and a state-of-the-art, purpose-built propulsion system.”
Pingback: UAS for the Webber Class? | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
These are bigger than the Scan Eagle, but still apparently no radar in the standard configuration. Still don’t require a flight deck for recovery.
The Coast Guard is considering a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Conoco Phillips Company to develop unmanned aerial systems, but they are also requesting suggestions. http://www.marinelink.com/news/unmanned-aircraft-systems388886.aspx
Looks like the USCG UAV program might be finally moving forward.
With the limited amount of money they are talking about, it’s almost going to have to be something of the ScanEagle class, I would think.
Pingback: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Apparently the CG is still experimenting with Scan Eagle. http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2015/07/remote-rescues/
More on the experimentation in the Arctic: http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2985
Pingback: Healy’s Arctic Missions w/R&D Center | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Progress on the Blackjack. Initial Operational Capability for the RQ-21A system. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3477
New sensor for Scan Eagle, claimed to allow it to search up to 13,000 sq miles (equal to a a square 114 miles on a side) in a single flight. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3606
Looks like someone has managed to put a radar on a less than 50 pound UAV with a 10 hour endurance. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3659
Pingback: Malaysia’s New Patrol Boat–UAS Ready | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
New Sensor (ViDAR) for Scan Eagle. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/naval-exhibitions/sea-air-space-2016/4000-sas-2016-insitu-moving-forward-with-vidar-payload-integration-on-scaneagle-uas.html
The following from http://brymar-consulting.com/: “The US Coast Guard issued a notice announcing that it intends to enter into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with several companies to evaluate small unmanned aircraft systems and their airborne sensors to determine their potential for use in a maritime environment by a first responder and Department of Homeland Security operational components. Comments must be submitted by 14 July. 81 Fed. Reg. 38723 (6/14/16) [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-06-14/pdf/2016-14073.pdf].”
Pingback: USCG Contracts for Scan Eagle UAS | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
The Royal Navy has failed to secure funding to continue their use of ScanEagle.http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2016/07/19/british-navy-plans-let-scaneagle-drone-go-next-year/87294144/
How much do UAVs cost? Defense Industry Daily reports, “Canada’s government has announced the purchase of RQ-21A BlackJack UAVs in a $14.2 million foreign military sale (FMS). Included in the package are five unmanned aircraft, two ground control stations and one launch and recovery system. This marks the first sale of the system outside of the US Navy and will join the Canadian Army as part of its Land Force Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance program.” http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1117239
Looks like we are trying it. Scan Eagle is going on the Stratton. https://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/newsroom/updates/uas_PhotoUpdate101116.asp
Pingback: “Congress Must Re-Set Department of Homeland Security Priorities: American Lives Depend on It”–Heritage Foundation | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
More on the Scan Eagle being deployed on Stratton. https://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/newsroom/updates/uas011217.asp
Some progress on training.
Pingback: Malaysia Builds 6 WPC w/sUAS, 3 Cutter X, and Gets 2 JCG cutters | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Pingback: My Unfunded Priority List | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
USCGC Stratton completes first extended operational deployment with a Scan Eagle small UAV. http://www.dcms.uscg.mil/cg9/newsroom/uas021017/
35 sorties totalling 260 flight hours equates to about 7.4 hours per flight.
Stratton completes first patrol equipped with small UAV.
“During the six-week deployment in the eastern Pacific Ocean, ScanEagle flew 39 sorties for a total of 279 hours, including one operation where the aircraft provided persistent surveillance for 22.7 flight hours in a 24-hour period.”
Apparently not equipped with radar.
“ScanEagle was equipped with multiple sensors including electro-optic, thermal and telescope cameras that delivered a range of aerial imagery to the Stratton crew and decision makers, enabling them to better execute real-time actionable intelligence.”
” Last month, the Coast Guard released a draft request for proposal to procure sUAS capabilities for its entire national security cutter fleet.”
The Navy is looking at small UAVs. A competitor for Scan Eagle. https://news.usni.org/2017/07/05/textrons-aerosonde-small-unmanned-aerial-vehicle-eligible-navy-sea-based-isr
Coast Gurard Request for Proposal (RFP) http://www.c4isrnet.com/articles/coast-guard-searches-for-small-drone-to-launch-from-ship
Coast Guard Stealth Aircraft?
Anyone care to comment on this story and reference? As I read the article I thought it was a lot of conjecture with an unknown sourcing. However this link from the Coast Guard’s history site https://www.uscg.mil/history/aviation/misc/SchweizerRG-RU-Condor.pdf indicates some truth to the article. Matter of fact whomever wrote the article seems to have lifted most of the wording regarding the Coast Guard’s involvement directly from the official Coast Guard history statement.
It was real. Doubt they are still out there, but we had some high altitude quiet aircraft.
I left out the link to the original article. Here it is. http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/12195/the-u-s-coast-guard-may-be-flying-a-unique-stealthy-spy-plane
I subsequently found the original article. Was thinking of writing a post on this. Basically I think the need is being filled by UAVs.
It is essentially impossible for the Coast Guard to have airplanes no one knows about.
Found a statement in the FY2017 budget justification (https://www.uscg.mil/budget/docs/USCG_FY2017_Congressional_Justification.pdf) that the Manned Covert Surveillance Aircraft program was being terminated without an aircraft ever having been delivered.
Navy has added Textron AAI Aerosonde as an alternative to Boeing Insitu Scan Eagle for future onboard ISR buys. I’m guessing these two platforms and their derivatives would have an institutional advantage for any Coast guard buy.
Coast Guard Closer to Acquiring Long-Awaited Ship-Based Drone–National Defense Magazine:
“After more than a decade of waiting, the Coast Guard plans to release by the end of the month a request for proposals for a small unmanned aerial system to be launched off national security cutters, the service’s director of acquisition programs and program executive officer said Jan 11.
“The Coast Guard hopes to release an eight-year contract and outfit eight NCSs with the UAS force package, Rear Adm. Mike Haycock said at the annual Surface Navy Association’s National Symposium in Arlington, Virginia.”
Kind of strange that it also talks about ” need to perform midlife service extensions for its national security cutters…”
A request for proposal has been issued. http://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Acquisitions-CG-9/Newsroom/UAS_020818/
Pingback: RfP for Services/Textron’s Aerosonde sUAS | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Pingback: Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 VTOL UAV and the Oceanwatch PT-8 Sensor | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Pingback: Coast Guard Contract for sUAS for Bertholf Class Cutters | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Pingback: “Coast Guard Expedites ScanEagle ISR Services for National Security Cutters” –SEAPOWER | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Pingback: All Currently Commisssioned NSC to Have Small Unmanned Air Systems by the End of the Year | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Pingback: Emerging Unmanned Air System Technologies | Chuck Hill's CG Blog
Pingback: Martin V-BAT “Guard evaluates new technology for unmanned aircraft system operations” –Acquisitions Directorate (CG-9) | Chuck Hill's CG Blog