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The RQ-21A Blackjack UAS Takes To The Field

The RQ-21A Blackjack UAS Takes To The Field

[frame src=”” width=”400″ lightbox=”on” align=”left”]The United States Marine Corps has now deployed its new RQ-21A Blackjack UAS (unmanned aircraft system) to Afghanistan via its early operational capability. This 135-pound-mtow aircraft is undergoing an initial operational test & evaluation and the service expects to complete this phase in 2014. As per the Naval Air Systems Command, in May, the Marine UAV Squadron 2 conducted the 1st early-operational capability flight of its RQ-21A, in the combat area of responsibility as per Navair- the Naval Air Systems Command.

The Organic Multi-Intelligence Device

[frame src=”” width=”400″ lightbox=”on” align=”right”]VMU-2 will use 1 Blackjack system that comprises of 5 air vehicles, 2 ground control systems and launch & recovery-support equipment, for intelligence, and surveillance as well as reconnaissance missions. The new Blackjack will provide the Navy & Marine Corps war-fighter with instant situational awareness through voice, visual communication & other multi-intelligence data collection functions said Navair. The senior vice president with Insitu, the manufacturer, Ryan Hartman said while speaking at a conference that was held in May that the Marines had very recently been deployed with the Blackjack into Afghanistan. The expectation also was that they will fly it within days.

The IOT&E phase of the system had commenced in 2014 January and is scheduled to end at towards the latter part of the year said Hartman. Insitu calls the RQ-21A Blackjack the 1st dedicated and organic multi-intelligence UAS used by the Navy and the Marine tactical commanders. And so, even as technological advances take place and defense needs change, more such UAV’s will make their foray into the field.

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