It’s clear that Scan Eagle is a tremendous asset – the quality of the imagery is superb, even at night-time

Lieutenant Commander Al Rogers, Commanding Officer of 700X Naval Air Squadron

“Commanding officers have nothing but praise for it, but it’s not a replacement for a Merlin or Lynx, rather an addition to the warship’s suite of sensors.”

His squadron has two roles: parent unit for the flights deployed on Royal Navy vessels east of Suez; and to trial and evaluate any future unmanned aircraft which the Fleet Air Arm decides to invest in.

It’s one of the smallest units in the Royal Navy – the three ScanEagle flights total six RN personnel (one officer as Flight Commander, plus one petty officer as the Senior Maintenance Rating each), and a handful of headquarters staff.

The RN team in a flight direct the ScanEagle’s operations, a four-strong team from the aircraft’s manufacturer Boeing Insitu fly and maintain it.

“This is a fantastic job. This is the Fleet Air Arm’s first step into the world of remotely piloted air systems and we are looking to develop our tactics and embrace this new technology ensuring the Royal Navy remains a world leader in aviation at sea – whether manned or unmanned.”

700 Naval Air Squadron – motto experentia docet (experience teaches) – is one of the varied units in Fleet Air Arm history, having flown most aircraft and helicopters the Royal Navy has operated for the past 75 years.

It is formed to test and evaluate new aircraft ready for use by front-line squadrons and most recently as 700M and 700W has helped with the introduction of Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

HMS Kent (F78)

Learn more

Air Engineering Technician

Join us