Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Marines deploy new small unmanned aircraft

See also

The RQ-21A Blackjack, a new, small unmanned aircraft developed for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, is making its first deployment overseas, the Navy Department announced May 7.

A squadron from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina began using the intelligence-gathering plane in late April to support ground missions in Afghanistan, the department said. The RQ-21A can carry day/night video cameras and other sensors and has more payload capacity and power than other small unmanned aircraft fielded by the Marines Corps.

The Navy Department is buying the RQ-21A from Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary. The 8.2-foot-long aircraft is a larger variant of the company’s ScanEagle unmanned aircraft, which has supported Navy and Marine deployed forces for years under a services contract.

The Navy and Marines plan to acquire dozens of RQ-21A “systems,” each of which consists of five air vehicles, two ground control stations, and launch and recovery equipment.

SUBSCRIBE! To receive future articles by this writer, click “Subscribe” above. Follow him on Twitter.

Advertisement

News

  • Gaza school shelled
    Israeli airstrikes topple a school in Gaza suspected of housing rockets; dozens killed
    Video
    Video
  • Ebola outbreak
    An American with Ebola virus died shortly after boarding three planes
    World News
  • Why dogs smell butts
    Researchers figure out why dogs like to smell each other's butts
    Pets
  • Time to stop tanning
    The surgeon general advises us not to tan as melanoma cases are on the rise
    Health News
  • Zimmerman lands dream job
    George Zimmerman lands his dream job as a security guard at a gun/motorcycle shop
    Headlines
  • 10 smartest states
    Here are the 10 most educated states in the U.S., did yours make the cut?
    US News