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US hands over first RQ-21A to Thai navy

26th May 2022 - 04:53 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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The Royal Thai Navy officially received its first RQ-21A Blackjack from the US on 24 May. (US Embassy in Thailand)

Thailand is awaiting five RQ-21A UAVs from the US, and the first has been formally handed over.

A ceremony on 24 May saw the US formally handing over the first RQ-21A Blackjack UAV to the Royal Thai Navy (RTN).

Presiding over the event was VAdm Karl Thomas, Commander of the USN’s 7th Fleet. The US Embassy in Bangkok released photos from the ceremony.

This was the first of five RQ-21As, each of which has a 16h endurance, for the RTN. Thailand also receives two ground control stations, plus launch and recovery equipment as part of the package.

Shephard reported earlier that this first aircraft actually arrived in Thailand last December. The Blackjacks will be flown by 104

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