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 July 30, 2014

News: Software to power F-35 running as much as 14 months late - Software needed to operate Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, may be as much as 14 months late for required flight testing, according to a Pentagon review.   Business: Lockheed will turn on JLTV production line In August; 6-D truck...
 
 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 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 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 

 
boeing-chinook

Boeing delivers first U.S. Army multiyear II configured Chinook

Boeing July 29 delivered the first multiyear II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army one month ahead of schedule. The delivery was celebrated in a ceremony at the production facility in Ridley Township, Penn. ...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Angela Stafford

Engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Army photograph Tracer rounds enable the shooter to follow the projectile trajectory to make aiming corrections. However, the light emitted by these rounds also gives away the position of the shooter. Engineers at Picatinny Ars...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 




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>