Australian Navy commissions experimental maritime drone squadron

The Royal Australian Navy has commissioned an experimental squadron called 822X to test the use of unmanned aircraft at sea.

The squadron will operate the Insitu ScanEagle, a small, long-endurance, low-altitude aircraft and the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter, which can carry payloads such as electro-optics and infrared sensors. They are being trialled for use in surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations.

In June, the Australian government allocated AU$7 billion (US$5 billion) to the program for six Triton unmanned surveillance planes to be deployed across the Indo-Pacific, including in the South China Sea.

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