The Brazilian Navy has tested this week an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from the American company Boeing. The test objective was to analyze the characteristics of the UAV for the choice of equipments that will be purchased with the task of patrolling the Blue Amazon (3.6 million km2 along the entire Brazilian coast, an area of significant marine biodiversity). The test was performed in the sea, 12 km from the coast of Arraial do Cabo, in Rio de Janeiro State. The unit took off from the ocean patrol vessel Apa.
The UAV tested on Tuesday is a ScanEagle model, manufactured by Boeing in partnership with Insitu subsidiary. Similar to an airplane, measures 3.11 m in fixed wings and 1.71 m long. The structure weighs between 14 kg to 18 kg (empty) and 22 kg with fuel. With autonomy of 24 hours (can fly over an entire day without needing to be stocked), the UAV reaches maximum speed of 41 meters per second.
In May, the Navy will do a new test with Camcopter-S100, of the Austrian company Schiebel. Like a helicopter, the model has rotary wing and autonomy of 15 hours. Until 2023, the Navy plans to acquire five systems, which include a control station, signal antennas and two or three aircraft (the number will vary according to the manufacturer). It means, in nine years, Brazil will have 10-15 UAVs. By 2030, that number is expected to double, according to the Navy. Each system costs about $ 6 million.