U.S. Navy Orders Additional Blackjack Aircraft From Insitu

Insitu has received a $70 million contract modification to deliver six additional Lot I RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft systems to the U.S. Navy.

The order includes three Blackjack systems for the Navy and three more for the U.S. Marine Corps. Each system is comprised of unmanned aircraft, ground control stations, multi-mission plug-and-play payloads, and additional supporting equipment.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the work will be performed at Insitu’s facilities in Bingen, Wash. and Hood River, Ore., and is expected to be complete by February 2018.

Insitu received all funding for the modification at the time of the award. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Md. is listed as the contracting activity.

The RQ-21A Blackjack is a twin-engine unmanned aircraft used to support maritime and land operations. The vehicle, a larger follow-up to the Scan Eagle, is fitted to perform reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions.

The aircraft are able to fly at a range of 50 nautical miles and reach speeds around 80 knots. Standard payloads include electro-optical and infrared cameras for full-motion video, laser rangefinders, communication relays, and Automatic Identification System receives.

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