ROYAL Navy warships will benefit from new ‘eye in the sky’ surveillance technology, the Ministry of Defence has announced.
Unarmed ScanEagle aircraft are to be used by the Royal Navy for the first time, launching from the back of ships.
The aircraft fly above them, collecting intelligence and surveying the area.
It will be launched from Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships by a catapult and can fly at around 60 knots.
It is commanded by a specialist team on board the ship which will plan its missions then control its flights and analyse the information it gathers using state-of-the-art sensors, before bringing it back to the ship.
ScanEagle is being introduced as part of a £30m contract signed by the government.
Captain Ian Annett said: ‘ScanEagle represents an important addition to the Royal Navy’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.
‘Its ability to deploy during the day and night coupled with the technology it uses, will give commanders a clearer picture of the operational situation whenever it’s required.’