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 October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 
 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 




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>