Insitu Gets $32M US Navy ScanEagle Contract

Insitu Inc., Bingen, Washington, is awarded a $31,955,872 firm-fixed-price modification (P00004) to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N0001922D0038).

This modification adds scope to procure hardware in support of the RQ-21A Blackjack and ScanEagle unmanned air systems platforms for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Foreign Military Sales customers to include four RQ-21A air vehicles; 20 ScanEagle air vehicles; and 62 ScanEagle payloads and turrets; as well as various support equipment, spares and sustainment spares.

Work will be performed in Bingen, Washington (88%); and various locations outside the U.S. (12%), and is expected to be completed in June 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Source: DoD

Insitu Announces its High Seas, Long Endurance Integrator VTOL Unmanned Aircraft

Insitu, A Boeing Company, today announced its Integrator Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) at Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exhibition in National Harbor, Maryland.

Integrator VTOL launches vertically on ships or land without sacrificing payload capacity or endurance. The system retains the performance of fixed-wing aircraft, providing the same long range wide-area surveillance capability for extended periods.

Integrator VTOL is uniquely designed to operate as a portable system in tight quarters, such as ship decks, and in challenging maritime conditions with high seas and gusty winds. No stationary launch and recovery equipment is required – providing expeditionary (ship-to-ship, ship-to-land) portability and modularity across both UAS hardware and payloads while minimizing impact to other flight operations.

With greater than 16 hours of endurance carrying 40 lbs. of best-in-class, modular payloads, the unique design offers three-times improvement in range and endurance over hybrid-VTOLs. It also has a significant improvement over tail-sitters in its ability to fly on and off ships in rough seas where ship roll and motion present major issues for tall and narrow base tail-sitter UAS.

“Integrator VTOL is a no-compromise unmanned aircraft system,” said Diane Rose, Insitu president and CEO. “Customers can finally have it all: vertical launch and recovery with industry-leading payload capacity and endurance for their most critical missions, even in the most extreme maritime environments and sea states, without sacrificing valuable transport, deck, or hangar space.”

The system has two parts: FLARES (Flying Launch and Recovery System) developed by Hood Tech, and the Insitu Integrator air vehicle. Requiring no modifications to the aircraft, FLARES performs normal operations at half throttle, allowing significant control authority to withstand gusts, lower density air and higher ship deck motion.

To deploy, FLARES engages Integrator and climbs into the sky. Once it reaches its desired altitude, FLARES dashes forward before releasing Integrator, allowing Integrator to perform its long range, wide-area surveillance mission for extended durations. Once Integrator is released, FLARES returns to a ship’s deck or land to await Integrator’s return.

As Integrator approaches at the end of its mission, FLARES again climbs into the sky with a recovery rope attached and performs Insitu’s well-proven maritime retrieval method. FLARES then lowers Integrator to the ship’s deck or the landing area to complete the mission.

About Insitu

With offices in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, Insitu creates and supports unmanned systems and software technology that deliver end-to-end solutions for collecting, processing and managing sensor data. To date, our systems have accumulated more than 1.4 million flight hours.

Insitu Pacific Software Engineer

Insitu Pacific is an established leader in the uncrewed aircraft systems industry and a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company. We are growing our team with exciting opportunities available for Software Engineers to contribute to cutting-edge programs – including the delivery of Tactical Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) to the Australian Army. These roles offer the opportunity to join a supportive and innovative team, where you will contribute to advancements in autonomous systems technology and the delivery of mission-critical solutions for our customers.

About the role

  • C# plugin development to extend capability of existing tools and integrate various payloads and sensors, largely in windows with a CI server
  • Regular code reviews
  • Collaboration with US parent company
  • Assisting with technical project planning, estimating, execution, control and reporting.
  • Requirements analysis and verification.
  • Documentation including: First article inspections, trade studies, system interface definitions, verification and acceptance plans, test plans

To be successful

  • C# .Net
  • Applications development
  • Networking and Comms
  • Software Design and Testing
  • Systems Engineering
  • Build servers, Build tools and Continuous Integration more broadly
  • Ability to multitask
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Engineering Degree in a mechatronics, avionics, electrical/electronics, software, or related discipline
  • Australia citizenship to meet Australian Defence security requirements

Also desirable

  • C++, Nsis, javascript, python, xaml
  • Conan, cmake, shell scripting, teamcity
  • Requirement’s analysis experience
  • Experience integrating hardware sensors
  • Experience writing system interface definitions, verification and acceptance plans, etc

Boeing has implemented a new COVID-19 Vaccination Policy in Australia that requires all new Boeing Australia hires to show proof of being fully vaccinated from COVID-19, or have an approved medical exemption.  

We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace. Female applicants, people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island descent and ex-defence personnel are encouraged to apply.

If you are ready to join an innovative industry leader and would like to register your interest in working for Insitu Pacific, please click Apply Now.

Project Convergence Demonstration Moves Military Closer to ‘Kill Web’ Approach
Project Convergence Demonstration Moves Military Closer to ‘Kill Web’ Approach
An Insitu Integrator unmanned aircraft awaits takeoff at Camp Pendleton as part of Project Convergence 22. Credit: U.S. Army/Spc. Brenda Salgado

The U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy, along with partners from the United Kingdom and Australia, took another step toward creating a “kill web” approach instead of relying on just a “kill chain” to defeat enemy attacks, service officials said after conducting a demonstration that is part of the Army-led Project Convergence 22.

“It’s not good enough to be a single service anymore, we need to be joint,” said Brig. Gen. Kyle Ellison, the vice chief of naval research, speaking to reporters after Project Convergence’s Scenario Alpha, hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, California, but including participation from U.S. units and allies in Japan, the Philippines, Australia and Hawaii. “It’s transitioning from a very lineal kill chain approach to a kill web approach. … We need to have resiliency and redundancy in our kill webs, so as we get something is taken away, a portion of that web, we roll right into another portion that can continue to bring lethal fires down on an adversary.”

Lt. Gen. D. Scott McKean, the Project Convergence experiment director, said the exercise connected the services and the allies to integrate air and missile defense to sustain fires at longer ranges against multiple missiles, such as could be required for operations in the Pacific Ocean. It also demonstrated systems to help rapidly re-arm the combatants in the exercise.

“At its core, this experiment really looked at trying to link sensors to shooters, but we had to really make sure we could get the right information to the right location. And by having our partners with the U.K. and Australia to be part of that, it really forced us to look at these capabilities. And I think we were able to demonstrate the ability to link our sensors and our shooters which gives us that redundancy, an ability to form kill webs as opposed to kill chains,” he said. “That’s a pretty significant difference, because being interoperable, only being able to share data, is insufficient as we start looking at the potential threats in the future.”

The exercise looked at “moving data at machine speed,” to address threats or missions, he said, including using artificial intelligence to help classify threats and identify targets and move that data to the correct weapon system for a response.

Project Convergence, which the Army Futures Command describes as a “campaign of learning,” began in 2020 but has been expanding steadily. The 2021 version started to take tests out the lab and into the field, and this year the partners took it international, including not just U.K. and Australian participants but with Canada and New Zealand sending observers as well.

The overall effort is based around five core elements: people, weapon systems, command and control, information, and terrain. The intent is to have “centralized intent and decentralized execution,” Army Futures Command said, leading to the kill web Ellison described. It’s part of the military’s planned move to joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2, and is intended to also use lessons from the Air Force’s version, the Advanced Battle Management System, and the Navy’s Project Overmatch.

“…The evolution of Project Convergence has taken us from individual systems to integrating them into a network at scale,” McKean said. “How well could those technologies scale when we put them with all our joint forces? We thought data access would be a challenge. It turned out that data management was just as challenging.”

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville said artificial intelligence is useful in a variety of ways, including for logistics and predictive maintenance, helping reduce the amount of equipment or parts warfighters have to carry. It’s also useful in targeting, he said.

“When you take a look at some of the scenarios and have many adversarial targets coming at you, you have to quickly make decisions,” he said. “We see AI being very helpful in giving our commanders the decision-making assistance they need to make decisions very quickly on which system to use to lethally engage targets that may be coming at them.”

Royal Australian Navy Awards ScanEagle Contract Extension to Insitu Pacific
Royal Australian Navy Awards ScanEagle Contract Extension to Insitu Pacific

Insitu Pacific has been awarded a three-year contract extension by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for the sustainment of its ScanEagle Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

The extension allows the RAN to continue to experiment and develop knowledge using the ScanEagle Maritime Unmanned Aircraft System (MUAS), leveraging the foundation capability developed during embarked operations on HMAS Newcastle in the Gulf of Oman in 2017.

“Insitu Pacific is proud to continue to support RAN in their ongoing RPAS experimentation and testing work over the next three years,” said Andrew Duggan, managing director of Insitu Pacific. “This contract extension provides us with an opportunity to deepen our existing sovereign capability and supply chains in Australia, and partner with RAN to offer up new capabilities for testing in the coming years.”

ScanEagle has been in service with the RAN for experimentation and testing since 2014.

The RAN operates several ScanEagle systems at 822X Squadron in Nowra, and the contract extension enables continuation of MUAS training, tactics development and payload evaluation activities.

Insitu Pacific has supported and developed local capability for the RAN over the last seven years, including multiple training programs and the provision of deeper maintenance and support out of its Brisbane headquarters.

The comprehensive pilot and maintenance training courses delivered for defence personnel continue to be key success factors in delivering effective RPAS support. The most recent of these courses trialled virtual training, with RAN operators at Nowra being instructed by Insitu Pacific Instructors in Brisbane.

“Accelerated due to COVID-19 border closures, the successful rollout of our virtual training program provides a valuable demonstration of how RPAS training could be readily delivered to personnel deployed at dispersed bases around Australia,” Duggan said

ScanEagle, along with the family of system platforms including Integrator, hold an impressive track record in supporting naval customers, with more than 66,000 embarked flight hours on over 24 classes of ship globally in the last 16 years.