The RQA Blackjack is a small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS) designed and developed by Insitu, a Boeing company, to meet the requirements of the US Navy and the US Marine Corps (USMC). The Blackjack can be deployed in persistent maritime and land-based tactical intelligence. Boeing Insitu Awarded Navy Contract for Blackjack UAS. 18 December - The Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Boeing's Insitu subsidiary a $41,, firm-fixed-price contract for the procur ement of three low rate initial production RQA Blackjack unmanned aircraft systems. RQA Blackjack In partnership with the Department of the Navy, Insitu developed the RQA Blackjack program to fill the requirement for a small tactical unmanned aircraft system capable of operating from land and sea. The system is modular, versatile and multi-mission capable, providing rapid transitions between land and maritime environments.
Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack
IHS Jane's VMU-1 Marines received hands-on mobile training from maintenance instructors from Insitu, the company who developed the Blackjack. The standard payload configuration of the RQA includes electro-optic imager, mid-wave infrared imager, laser rangefinder, infrared IR marker, and automatic identification system AIS receivers. EOC Blackjacks will continue to be used for training, while completion of shipboard testing is planned to result in the system's first ship-based deployment in spring Retrieved 2 August With Milestone C approval, the Integrator entered production and deployment. In addition, the new sensor weight under 30lbs means that Redkite can potentially be integrated with even smaller unmanned aircraft in the future, notes Marion.
Although heavier than the ScanEagle, Integrator has a common ground control system, catapult launcher and Skyhook recovery system. The RQA's Integrator flies higher 16, feet and longer than ScanEagle, with a 15 hour endurance. Conducted early this month in Boardman, Ore. Redkite Sensor package - Image courtesy of Logos Technologies.
Despite its compact form, Redkite can image a city-sized area over 12 square kilometers all at once—detecting, tracking and recording all significant movers within the scene. It also stores up to eight hours of this geo-tagged mission data on onboard solid state drives SSDs. Redkite can transmit up to 10 unique views to hundreds of users at one time. In addition, the new sensor weight under 30lbs means that Redkite can potentially be integrated with even smaller unmanned aircraft in the future, notes Marion.
VMU-1 received the new aircraft in June and the Marines are excited about the advanced capabilities it brings over the RQ-7 Shadow the unit previously used. VMU-1 Marines received hands-on mobile training from maintenance instructors from Insitu, the company who developed the Blackjack.
The new aircraft is runway independent and leaves a significantly smaller footprint than their previous UAS. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Brytani Wheeler. Garon Taylor-Tyree, director of safety and standardization for VMU-1 and will be the detachment officer-in-charge for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. In addition to the aircraft, the Boeing subsidiary will provide ground control stations, launch and recovery equipment, shipboard equipment kits, systems engineering, and program management.
The Navy launched one using a pneumatic launcher and a recovery system known as Skyhook. This eliminates the need for runways and enables a safe recovery and expeditionary capability for tactical missions on land or sea. This followed completing three months of land-based flights. It was controlled by a new ground control system meant to integrate dissimilar UAV systems.
The Block II has the sensor from the Nighteagle, the night version of the ScanEagle , and is designed to operate in high-temperature environments. With Milestone C approval, the Integrator entered production and deployment. The UAV was launched with a pneumatic launcher, flew for 1. This phase of testing was to validate updates made to the aircraft which include software, fuselage, and camera enhancements. The Integrator was test flown at lower density altitudes. On 28 November , the U. Navy and U.
Marine Corps. Testing was conducted over the next several months to demonstrate its effectiveness in realistic combat conditions. Marine Corps by providing forward reconnaissance. A Blackjack system is composed of five air vehicles and two ground control systems. The air vehicles can be launched on land or on a ship by a rail and land using a "skyhook" recovery system, where a vertical wire must be hooked onto its wing; when on the ground, the launch and recovery systems are towable by vehicles.
The Marines are working with Insitu to modify the Blackjack fuselage to carry greater and more various payloads. New turrets are being explored as well as other payloads including a synthetic-aperture radar to track ground targets, a laser designator to mark targets for precision-guided munitions, and foliage-penetration capabilities for foreign customers operating in lush environments. In Marines service, the Blackjack sometimes uses the designation MQ,  where the 'M' prefix indicates "ground launched, mobile" operations, versus the 'R' prefix indicating operating from a surface ship.
The U. One Blackjack system is composed of five air vehicles, two ground control systems, and launch and recovery support equipment.
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