> our title:

US Donates ScanEagle UAVs to Czech Army

> original title:

Czech Troops to Use U.S. ScanEagle Drones; Reconnaissance drones will be used to increase the safety of patrols

(Source: Prague Post; published Feb 05, 2015)

PRAGUE, Czech Republic --- The United States will donate the ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system to the Czech military to help protect the U.S. Bagram base in Afghanistan within the Foreign Military Funding program, daily Lidové noviny (LN) writes today.

“One set is comprised of 10 aircraft. It is a reconnaissance device without armament to conduct optoelectronic reconnaissance,” Czech general staff spokeswoman Jana Růžičková is quoted as saying. “In spring, the whole system will be deployed in Afghanistan to serve the patrol unit at the Bagram base,” she added.

The state-of-the-art drones, manufactured by Boeing, will fulfill a number of tasks in the Czech hands in Afghanistan, LN writes. The soldiers will send them to the area before a patrol leaves for it to verify whether complications can be expected, it adds.

The UAVs have many times uncovered terrorists who were preparing improvised roadside bombs in the area, LN writes. The Czech unit will be taking the ScanEagle along with it. Before the soldiers stop and get off their armored vehicles, they can search through the whole area, it adds.

“The troops are being trained right to control the system in the US. In all, there will be 16 of them. They will be members of the 102nd reconnaissance battalion in Prostějov, south Moravia,” Růžičková said.

The battalion members have followed up the mission of the cancelled squadron of unmanned aircraft in Prostějov, LN writes.

They can use two sets of the U.S. Raven drones, bought for 20 million crowns in 2009, and two Israeli-made Skylark II UAVs for 50 million, it adds.

However, the ScanEagle is a much more sophisticated device, LN writes.

The Raven has a 10 kilometer flying range and can only spend some 90 minutes in the air, it adds.

However, the drones from the ScanEagle system can operate in the distance of 130 kilometer, flying in the air for up to 28 hours, LN writes.