Defense

May 24, 2013

Navy, Marine Corps Small Tactical UAS enters production phase

RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System in flight after launching from USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) in February 2013. The Department of the Navy recently announced that the unmanned air system received Milestone C approval authorizing the start of low rate initial production.

The Department of the Navy announced May 15 that the RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System received Milestone C approval authorizing the start of low rate initial production.

With MS C approval, the RQ-21A program, managed by the Navy and Marine Corps STUAS program office (PMA-263) here at NAS Patuxent River, enters the production and deployment phase of the acquisition timeline, according to the PMA-263 Program Manager Col. Jim Rector.

This milestone allows us to provide our warfighter with a unique capability ñ an organic UAS capable of operations from both land and sea,î said Rector.† ìThe RQ-21A will provide persistent maritime and land-based tactical Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition data collection and dissemination capabilities.

The Navy awarded Insitu, Inc., an Engineering Manufacturing Development contract for STUAS in July 2010.† Since then, the government/industry team has executed land-based developmental tests, operational tests at China Lake, Calif., in December 2012 and conducted the first sea-based DT from USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) in February.

Concurrently, Marines are flying an Early Operational Capability system at Twenty Nine Palms, Calif., for pre-deployment preparation. Lessons learned from EOC will be applied to operational missions in theater.

The aircraft is based on Insituís Scan Eagle UAS, which has flown more than 245,000 hours in support of Navy and Marine Corps forward deployed forces via a services contract. The RQ-21A system has a 25 pound payload capacity, ground control system, catapult launcher and unique recovery system, known as Skyhook, allowing the aircraft to recover without a runway.

The RQ-21A includes Day/Night Full Motion Video cameras, infrared marker and laser range finder, and Automatic Identification System receivers.†The ability to rapidly integrate payloads allows war fighters to quickly insert the most advanced and relevant payload for their land/maritime missions and counter-warfare actions.

The expeditionary nature of the RQ-21A makes it possible to deploy a multi-intelligence capable UAS with minimal footprint, ideal for amphibious operations such as a Marine Expeditionary Unit conducts,î Rector said. The RQ-21A can be operated aboard ship, and then rapidly transported ashore as either a complete system or just a ìspokeî, or control center, making this system ideally suited for humanitarian or combat operations, where getting real-time intelligence to the on-scene commander is crucial.

The Department of the Navy plans to purchase a total of 36 STUAS systems, each with five aircraft. Initial Operational Capability is scheduled for second quarter fiscal year 2014.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>