Insitu tapped for RQ-21A spare, sustainment parts

Aug. 9 (UPI) — Insitu has received a $9 million order against a previously issued contract to maintain the RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aerial aircraft.

The order, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, provides for the procurement of spare and sustainment parts to maintain the RQ-21A Blackjack for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Work will be performed in Bingen, Wash., and is expected to be completed in January 2019. Marine Corps fiscal 2016 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $9 million will be obligated at time of award.

The RQ-21A Blackjack is an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned aerial system used by the Marine Corps and Navy. It uses a catapult for launch and a hook-and-line system for recovery, obviating the need for a runway and allowing it to be deployed from both land and ships.

Each system is composed of five aircraft, two ground command units and a launch and recovery system. The Blackjack can carry several kinds of mission payloads, including surveillance video, communications relays and target designation gear such as lasers.

The Blackjack has a range of over 30 miles and can stay in the air for up to 16 hours depending on the mission. It was first deployed the Marine Corps in 2016.

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