UNMANNED AIRCRAFT: Marine Corps’ STUAS almost ready
The RQ-21A, the latest small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS) developed for the Marine Corps and Navy, is nearing the end of a 27-month development and testing period, on its way to limited initial production.
The 135-pound, twin-boomed unmanned air vehicle (UAV), manufactured by Insitu Inc., a Boeing subsidiary, completed its first, one-hour test flight July 28 at an Insitu facility in eastern Oregon.
“We’ve been flying ever since,” Insitu Senior Vice President of Integrator Programs Ryan Hartman told Seapower recently. Now the UAV is at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif. To complete developmental and operational testing, which, he said, should wrap up in December.
After that stage is completed, the Navy is slated to consider purchasing a low-rate initial production (LRIP) version of the RQ-21A – one system for land-based testing, another for shipborne testing.
To read the full story click here for the Navy League’s Seapower magazine.
Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Aircraft, Lessons Learned, National Security and Defense, Technology, Unmanned Aircraft, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: aerospace, Afghanistan, Defense, Marine Corps, military aviation, UAS.