This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

US Navy begins operational test phase of its RQ-21A Blackjack Tactical UAV
 
The US Navy and Marine Corps' newest small unmanned aircraft system RQ-21A Blackjack began its initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) in early January at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.
The US Navy and Marine Corps' newest small unmanned aircraft system RQ-21A Blackjack began its initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) in early January at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.
 
a
Naval Forces News - USA
 
 
 
US Navy begins operational test phase of its RQ-21A Blackjack Tactical UAV
 
The US Navy and Marine Corps' newest small unmanned aircraft system RQ-21A Blackjack began its initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) in early January at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.

As part of IOT&E, this first low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot of the Blackjack, previously known as RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS), will demonstrate the system’s effectiveness and suitability in realistic combat conditions.
     
The US Navy and Marine Corps' newest small unmanned aircraft system RQ-21A Blackjack began its initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) in early January at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.
GULF OF MEXICO (Feb. 10, 2013) The MKIV launcher prepares to launch the RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS) from the flight deck of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) for its first flight at sea. Mesa Verde is underway conducting exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stuart Phillips/Released)
     
“Receiving the first production-level Blackjack is a great accomplishment for our government and industry team,” said Col. James Rector, program manager for the Navy and Marine Corps STUAS program office, who oversees the RQ-21A program. “It is a very capable system that will meet the needs of our warfighters deployed on land or at sea with our Marine expeditionary units.”

The Insitu Inc.-built Blackjack is a larger twin-tailed follow-on to the ScanEagle unmanned air vehicle. The system contains five air vehicles, two ground control systems, and launch and recovery equipment.

Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 is conducting ground and shipboard testing on Blackjack for the next several months. After completing IOT&E, the government and Insitu team will transition the system to Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 2, located at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. for operational use. A second LRIP lot, consisting of one system, is scheduled for delivery in the spring.

Lt. Col. Anthony Bolden, commanding officer for VMU-2, said the myriad of capabilities that come with the introduction of Blackjack will provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) with a platform that has the payload and persistence to significantly enhance situational awareness.

“RQ-21A brings a new level of flexibility and expeditionary capability not present in any UAS to date,” Bolden said. “As a result, having and operating the Blackjack will posture the Marine UAV squadrons at the forefront of MAGTF operations.”

At eight feet long and with a wingspan of 16 feet, Blackjack provides intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications relay to the warfighter on land and at sea. The air vehicle’s open-architecture configuration can integrate new payloads quickly and can carry sensor payloads as heavy as 25 pounds.

Standard payloads include day and night full-motion video cameras, an infrared marker, a laser range finder, a communications relay package and automatic identification system receivers.

     
The US Navy and Marine Corps' newest small unmanned aircraft system RQ-21A Blackjack began its initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) in early January at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.
ScanEagle in Naval Use
(Artist Impression: Insitu)