A Dozen ScanEagle Drones For Malaysia

SHAH ALAM: A dozen Scaneagle drones for Malaysia. It appears that Malaysia is getting more Insitu Scaneagle drones for ISR missions. Late last year it was announced that RMN is getting two ScanEagle drone system from the US under Pentagon Maritime Security Initiative. A typical ScanEagle drone system usually has a command launcher unit and three drone airframes, so a two system meant six air frames.

On May 31, the Pentagon announced that Malaysia is getting 12 Scaneagles (four systems). I was told that Malaysia was originally offered six drones with an option for another six. I was told that we had exercised the option so we are getting 12 drones. It is likely the extra ScanEagles were bought for Malaysia under Pentagon’s other security cooperation funds instead of just from the MSI.

Apart from Malaysia, three other SEA countries are also getting the same drones, namely Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ScanEagle is launched from the flight deck of the Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce . US Navy

Insitu Inc., Bingen, Washington, is awarded $47,930,791 for firm-fixed-price delivery order N0001919F2602 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-17-G-0001) for 34 ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles for the governments of Malaysia (12); Indonesia (8); Philippines (8); and Vietnam (6).
In addition, this order provides for spare payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training, technical services, and field service representatives. Work will be performed in Bingen, Washington (77 percent); and multiple shore and at sea locations in Malaysia (9 percent); Philippines (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 Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

A Mark V SOC launching a ScanEagle UAV. US Navy picture

Based on the above, the drones meant for Malaysia cost some RM80.76 million. It must be noted also the number of ScanEagles meant for the Philippines and Indonesia had also increase to eight each, from six each previously. The Vietnam order is new, however.

Contractor Jermaine Ofoso-Anim launches a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle from the flight deck of USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3). US Navy

The release also does not reflect the order came from the MSI program and that the drones will be gifted by the US.

The RMN recently said the new drone squadron will be operated by the Eastern Fleet Command and deliveries was expected next month.

A ScanEagle drone being launched from a ground base. US Navy

The extra ScanEagles, will also likely meant that the Defence Ministry will not have to pay for new drones for the Joint Force 2 headquarters 2 – Angkatan Tugas Bersama 2 headquarters based in Tawau, Sabah.

A ScanEagle being recovered while operating from a US Navy vessel

The ATB2 controls the military unit deployed in the ESSCOM AOR and had previously make use of the the contractor operated ScanEagle and Aludra for its operations. Both contracts had since lapsed and there were talk of a new contracts for such service though it has not been a new tender for it since.

Anyhow, Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Eid Mubarak and Maaf Zahir Batin.

–Malaysian Defence

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