US Marine Corps SUAV takes flight
The Integrator UAV is part of the RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) Early Operational Capability (EOC) programme that will see the US Marine Corps and Navy more extensively utilise STUAS for than intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services.
During the flight, personnel from Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 2 and 3 and Insitu operators exercised the current configuration of Insitu’s Integrator. Insitu delivered one EOC system, which is the current configuration of the company’s Integrator, to Twentynine Palms early in January. The EOC contract option allows for up to 30 months of contractor-provided training and logistics services for the Integrator system. The team at Pax River received the second EOC system Jan. 12.
A CONUS-based deployment for EOC allows the Navy and Marine Corps to train operators, collect additional performance data and support development for Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The government-industry team will continue to develop the RQ-21A configuration for initial and full operational capability while the EOC system is deployed with VMU-3.
RQ-21A will have payload capacity to support multi missions in a single sortie. Its sensor package will include Electro-Optic, mid-wave infrared cameras with an infrared marker and laser rangefinder. RQ-21A will eventually replace the Navy and Marine ISR services contract in which current ISR missions are conducted in Iraq, Afghanistan and shipboard. The system will provide battlefield commanders with an organic capability 24/7, for real-time, actionable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
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