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Blackjack gamble pays off with full-rate decision

10th January 2017 - 14:00 GMT | by Grant Turnbull in London

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The US Navy and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has contracted manufacturer Insitu for the first full-rate production lot of the RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft, it was announced on 9 January.

The Boeing-owned company was awarded a $70.8 million contract modification to exercise an option for six Lot 1 systems, split equally between the US Navy and US Marine Corps.

A system includes five RQ-21A aircraft, ground control stations, payloads, launch and recovery equipment, and systems engineering and programme management. 

Work on Lot 1 is expected to be complete by February 2018.

The RQ-21 has already achieved initial operating

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Grant Turnbull

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Grant Turnbull


Grant Turnbull was the editor of Land Warfare International and Digital Battlespace magazines with Shephard …

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