Naval Air: February 1, 2003


The Coast Guard has selected the Bell-Textron HV-911 EagleEye tilt-rotor unmanned aircraft to provide its 29 larger cutters with over-the-horizon surveillance. These aircraft can take off and land vertically, cruise at 360 kilometers an hour, loiter at 162 kilometers an hour, and fly recon missions up to five hours long. Each of the cutters could carry up to four such aircraft, although only 69 aircraft have been ordered. (Fifty control stations will include the 29 cutters, some shore stations, training sites, and spares.) Fitted with television cameras, EagleEye will allow cutters to control larger reaches of ocean and check out small craft, ships, debris, and anything else of interest. --Stephen V Cole


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