The Royal Australian Navy has officially commissioned its developmental 822X Squadron, which will help the branch to bring key unmanned aircraft systems into operation.
The Naval Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit (NUASU) was formally transitioned to 822X Squadron, making it the fourth operational squadron in the RAN Fleet Air Arm.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, said this was a significant moment for the Navy and the Fleet Air Arm.
"Autonomous systems are becoming increasingly important, with unmanned systems soon being deployed to every operational theatre, and 822X Squadron will realise the full potential these technologies present," VADM Noonan said.
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.
Commanding Officer 822X Squadron, Commander Michael Rainey, said the squadron has a big job ahead of it.
"We will be working with Fleet and Australian Defence Force units to use this technology to enhance our unmanned aircraft systems capability," CMDR Rainey said.