According to multiple media reports, U.S. company Boeing is close to securing a deal to sell ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with intelligence collection and reconnaissance abilities to Vietnam. The UAVs will be used by Vietnam’s coast guard.
Developed by Insity. Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, the ScanEagle carries a stabilized electro-optical and/or infrared camera on a lightweight inertial stabilized turret system, and an integrated communications system having a range of over 62 miles (100 km). It has a flight endurance of over 20 hours.
The sale is “in-progress” and is supported through US Foreign Military Financing. It is being described as one of Vietnam’s most notable US military acquisitions since the lifting of a longstanding arms embargo on Vietnam in 2016.
Boeing has been selling ScanEagles to other countries in South East Asia too. Boeing is negotiating with Indonesia for the sale of four ScanEagle systems for its navy. The Philippines is already using ScanEagles. Meanwhile Malaysia ordered an unknown number of ScanEagle systems in 2012.
Sources: Janes.com, VN Express