822X Squadron RAN

822X Squadron is a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron established in October 2018. Its role is to trial unmanned aerial vehicles.

822X Squadron
Country Australia
Branch Royal Australian Navy
TypeTrials unit
SizeOne squadron
Part ofFleet Air Arm
Garrison/HQHMAS Albatross
Motto(s)"See the Enemy"
EquipmentBoeing Insitu ScanEagle
Schiebel Camcopter S-100


The RAN established a Navy UAS Development Unit in late 2012. This unit was tasked with experimenting with a UAV to test the type's suitability and begin developing procedures. It began flying its first UAV, a leased Boeing Insitu ScanEagle, in March 2013. The Navy purchased two ScanEagles in June 2015, and the unit was renamed the Naval Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit. Schiebel Camcopter S-100 UAVs were acquired in late 2016, and accepted into RAN service on 30 April 2018.[1]

822X Squadron was formed at HMAS Albatross on 25 October 2018 by redesignating the Naval Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit.[2] The X in its title indicates that it is a developmental unit; this is the first time the Royal Australian Navy has used such a designation.[3]

The squadron's role is to experiment with operating UAVs and develop procedures for integrating them into the Navy. Upon formation, the squadron was equipped with Insitu ScanEagle and Camcopter S-100 UAVs. These are intelligence UAVs equipped with high quality cameras.[3] 882X Squadron's title was drawn from the serial number of the Naval Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit's first aircraft, a ScanEagle designated AV1422.[3]

As of October 2018, the RAN intended to trial the Camcopter S-100s and ScanEagles for three to five years, and purchase other UAVs in the 2022-23 financial year.[4]


  1. "822X Squadron". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. Department of Defence (25 October 2018). "Navy commissions new 822X Squadron to operate unmanned aerial systems Navy commissions new 822X Squadron to operate unmanned aerial systems". Navy Daily. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  3. Zupp, Owen (26 October 2018). "Navy Commissions 822X Squadron to Operate UAVs". Australian Aviation. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  4. Clifford, Jessica (26 October 2018). "Australian Navy commissions first unmanned aircraft squadron". ABC News. Retrieved 26 October 2018.

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