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The Royal Netherlands Navy landing ship dock Hr. Ms. Rotterdam launched its first ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mission over the Gulf of Aden in the early hours of this morning.

Dutch Ministry of Defense archive photo

A 19-strong Dutch army team from the Netherlands' Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Command is operating the mini UAV at sea for the first time in support of NATO's Operation Ocean Shield counterpiracy mission. The UAV's task during its first mission was to reconnoiter unidentified ships for possible piracy activities.

The system performed well despite temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit), an operator is quoted as saying on the Dutch Ministry of Defense website.

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