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Coat of Arms of the 11th Aircraft Squadron
Coat of Arms of the 11th Aircraft Squadron
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Coat of Arms of the 11th Aircraft Squadron
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Launching of a ScanEagle
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ScanEagle in its catapult launcher

Welcome to the website of the 11th Aircraft Squadron, the latest and most modern element of the aircraft flotilla. This Squadron has already proved its value in the international counter-piracy Operation "Atalanta" in the Indian Ocean. The ScanEagle is the first unmanned air vehicle used by the Spanish Navy for missions related to surveillance, intelligence and gathering of real-time images. The ScanEagle is a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) designed by the firm INSITU which successfully operates both on land and from ships.

The system was delivered to the Spanish Navy in January 2015 and tested on board the LPD ‘Galicia’ in February. Since its first deployment, the system has flown more than 200 hours.

The squadron is made up of a total of 8 unmanned air vehicles which are launched with a pneumatic catapult launcher and recovered with a ‘Skyhook’ retrieval system assisted by a very accurate GPS. The systems are equipped with stabilized electro-optical and/or infrared cameras.

The Spanish Navy has decisively opted for this RPAS system, and their crews are always ready to carry out the entrusted missions.

WEIGHT 15 kilos /Max. 22 kilos at takeoff
LENGTH 1.5 meters
WINGSPAN 3.2 meters
ENDURANCE +20 hours
SENSORS electro-optical and infrared
HEIGHT 19,000 feet
SPEED 47 – 80 knots
RANGE 50 nautical miles.
CONSUMPTION 0.25 kilos JP5/Hour

The ScanEagle is a remotely piloted air system with a two-stroke engine and a propeller. It has an automatic pilot, IFF Mode 3C identification system, GPS and AIS navigation system. It can be equipped with electro-optical or infrared cameras, depending on the mission and weather conditions.

The mission of the 11th Squadron is to provide the naval force with a capability to obtain video and images in real time in areas of interest. To this end, the Squadron provides the Fleet with the necessary units, depending on the operation or mission entrusted. The main tasks are:

  • ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance)
  • Maritime Surveillance
  • Support to Special Operations units
  • Search and Rescue (SAR)
  • Support to civilian organizations: borders control, fire detection, etc.

The Squadron’s headquarters are located in Cadiz; and more specifically at the Naval Targets Group in Torregorda. From there, the Strait of Gibraltar and the nearby training ranges can easily be reached.

The present workforce of designated UAV (unmanned air vehicle) operators – or DUO – of the 11th Squadron is as follows:

  • 1 Commanding Officer (Pilot/DUO)
  • 4 Officers (Pilots/DUO)
  • 20 NCOs
  • 6 Leading Seamen

In May 2014 four officers were selected for a DUOs (Designated UAV Operators) course. From September to December 2014 they attend a ScanEagle training course in INSITU facilities in Washington State.

The first 4 aircraft and related material arrived in Spain in January 2015 and were deployed on board the amphibious assault ship ‘Galicia’ (L-51) for assessment and sea trials with participation of Fleet units and the Electromagnetic Measures Center.

After the initial trials, the squadron was deployed to Operation ‘Atalanta’ in the Indian Ocean for ISR tasks.

So far, the only theatre of operations has been the Indian Ocean where the RPAS have performed very successfully. The Squadron is currently preparing for its new deployment in Iraq for Operation A/I.


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