Boeing Drones Used By Coast Guard to Seize $1.5 billion in Illegal Drugs

The first year the U.S. Coast Guard used ScanEagle, a Boeing unmanned aerial drone, they seized more than $1.5 billion in cocaine and heroin, contributing to the Coast Guard’s record-breaking year for drug busts in 2017.

ScanEagle enhanced the Coast Guard’s ability to locate and track drug traffickers. Commander Daniel Broadhurst, who ran the program, argued that ScanEagle helped the Coast Guard “push the limits of unmanned aviation” during its record-setting year.

Originally developed to track weather in remote areas, Boeing-owned Insitu optimized ScanEagle for use by the U.S. military. Insitu adapted ScanEagle to serve our troops in hot spots all over the world — increasing its range, enhancing its image quality, and improving its navigation system.

In 2004, the U.S. Marine Corps first used ScanEagle. It monitored the movements of enemy combatants and scouted terrain and buildings in Iraq.

Our troops now rely on ScanEagle at home and overseas — conducting intelligence missions, protecting key facilities, and acting as reconnaissance for soldiers in combat. ScanEagle evolved from its original mission tracking weather into a vital asset used to protect our men and women in uniform all over the world.

Learn more about how the ScanEagle is using advanced technology to keep Americans safe.

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