|RQ-21A Blackjack UAS. Photo: Navair
[Avionics Today 07-31-2015] Insitu has signed a contract to build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (STUAS) Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract is the latest event in the program's progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) phase.
"This award will increase the number of systems to the fleet and bring a greater footprint and capability to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and Naval Special Warfare teams to meet operational demands," said Col. Eldon Metzger, program manager for the Navy and Marine Corps STUAS.
RQ-21A has larger payload mass, volume and power than other small UAS currently being used by the Marines in theater. The system includes electro-optic and mid-wave infrared sensors with a laser rangefinder and infrared marker. A portfolio of payload options has been developed to deliver immediate situational awareness for land and maritime missions.