Defense

June 14, 2013

RQ-21A Small UAS completes first East Coast flight

The Navy and Marine Corps RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) takes its first flight from Webster Field Annex, an outlying field to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., June 12. A team from the Navy and Marine Corps STUAS program office (PMA-263) at Pax River and Insitu are conducting flight operations at Webster this June in preparation for Integrated Operational Test and Evaluation in the fall.

The RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System completed its first East Coast flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.,’s Webster Field Annex June 12, marking the start of the next phase of test for the program.

A team from the Navy and Marine Corps STUAS program office (PMA-263) here and industry partner Insitu, Inc., are conducting flight operations at Webster, NAS Pax River’s outlying field, this June in preparation for Integrated Operational Test and Evaluation in the fall.

During the June 12 flight, Insitu operators launched the unmanned aircraft using a pneumatic launcher, eliminating the need for a runway. The RQ-21A was recovered after a 1.8 hour flight, using a company-built system known as the STUAS Recovery System. The system enables a safe recovery and expeditionary capability for tactical UAS on land or at sea.

“This test period brings us closer to providing our warfighter with a unique capability — an indigenous UAS capable of operations from both land and sea,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Jim Rector, PMA-263 program manager. “The expeditionary nature of the RQ-21A makes it possible to deploy a multi-intelligence capable UAS with minimal footprint.”

The current phase of testing is intended to validate updates that have been made to the system in the past several months, which include software, fuselage and camera enhancements. The conditions at Webster Field also allow the team to test aircraft performance points at lower density altitudes, said Greg Oliver, the program’s lead test engineer.

Operators from Insitu Inc. prepare to launch the Navy and Marine Corps RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS) from Webster Field Annex, June 12. During the flight, operators launched the unmanned aircraft using a pneumatic launcher, eliminating the need for a runway. The RQ-21A was recovered after a 1.8-hour flight, using a company-built system known as the STUAS Recovery System.

In 2012, the small unmanned aircraft completed land-based testing in China Lake, Calif., and began ship-based developmental tests aboard USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) in February. After this test phase is complete, the team will transport the system, which includes a ground control station and three air vehicles, back to Norfolk, Va., to embark LPD 19 for shipboard flight testing in July.

IOT&E will begin in October at Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command Twentynine Palms, Calif. Ship-based IOT&E is scheduled for December in preparation for the system’s initial deployment in 2014.

The RQ-21A platform is designed to fill a need for the Marine Expeditionary Forces, Navy L-Class ships, and Naval Special Warfare Units. When deployed, it will provide a 24/7 maritime and land-based tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition data collection and dissemination capabilities to the war fighter.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines April 14, 2014

Business: U.S. Navy looks to leverage submarine work to keep costs down - The U.S. Navy hopes to save money and time by leveraging industry investments as it replaces its Ohio-class nuclear-armed submarines with the Virginia-class attack submarines now built by General Dynamics Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.  Study raises red flags on California aerospace...
 
 

News Briefs April 14, 2014

U.S. Navy destroyer Zumwalt christened in Maine The U.S. Navy has christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a 610-foot (186-meter)-long warship with advanced technologies and a stealthy design that will reduce its visibility on enemy radars. The warship bears the name of the late Adm. Elmo ìBudî Zumwalt, who became the...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III

Russian aircraft flies near U.S. Navy ship in Black Sea

Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III Sailors man the rails as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook arrives at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 11, 2014. Donald Cook is the first of four Arle...
 

 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 
 

U.S. Air Force selects Cubic for Moroccan P5 air combat training system

Cubic Defense Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation announced April 11 it has been awarded a contract valued at more than $5 million from the U.S. Air Force to supply its P5 Combat Training System to the Moroccan Air Force. Morocco will join the United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, along with a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this ye...
 




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>