RQ-21A Blackjack:

Watch the first maritime flight.

RQ-21A Blackjack: Watch the first maritime flight.

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RQ-21A Blackjack:

First RQ-21A Blackjack Maritime Flight

RQ-21A Blackjack

Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS)

Insitu was awarded the STUAS contract in 2010 to begin development of RQ-21A Blackjack. This program of record for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps is the first organic and dedicated multi-intelligence Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for USMC and USN tactical commanders. The system is modular, flexible and multi-mission capable, providing roll-on, roll-off transitions between land and maritime environments. RQ-21A Blackjack's open architecture payload bays can be customized with imagers, communication capabilities and other tools to deliver exceptional situational awareness.

Key Features

  • Rapidly integrates new payloads for expanded mission sets.
  • Roll-on, roll-off capability supports ship-to-objective maneuvers.
  • Expeditionary and runway independent to support tactical missions on land and at sea.
  • Long endurance.
  • Minimal footprint accommodates small sites and deck operations.


Length: 8.2 ft / 2.5 m
Wingspan: 16 ft / 4.8 m



Empty structure weight: 81 lb / 36 kg › Max takeoff weight: 135 lb / 61 kg
Max payload weight*: 39 lb / 17 kg


Endurance: up to 16 hours
Ceiling: >19,500
Max horizontal speed: 90+ knots
Cruise speed: 60 knots
Engine: 8 HP reciprocating engine with EFI; JP-5, JP-8

Payload Integration

›  Onboard power: 350 W for payload
›  Onboard connectivity: Ethernet (TCP/IP), data encryption

Standard Payload Configuration

›  Electro-optic imager
›  Mid-wave infrared imager
›  Laser rangefinder
›  IR marker
›  Communications relay and AIS

RQ-21A Blackjack Program Guide

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From mission to mission, Insitu customers use a wide array of assets. That's why it's so important to be able to plug information from all your assets into one cohesive picture.


Integrator Capabilities

The entire design concept of Integrator was based on enabling options. To that end, the options listed below represent only a portion of what makes Integrator the most versatile UAS in its class.


Integrator System

Designed and purpose-built to enable a wide array of payload options, the Integrator unmanned aircraft takes versatility in the agile ISR category to an unparalleled level.


Latest News

Feb 24, 2014

Insitu Delivers LRIP RQ-21A Blackjack System to U.S. Navy, Marine Corps

BINGEN, Wash., Jan. 2, 2014 – Insitu announced today the delivery of an RQ-21A Blackjack to the Navy and Marine Corps. This represents the first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) system delivered under the Navy’s Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) contract and enables the program to enter into the initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) phase.


Apr 09, 2013

Insitu Announces Successful First Maritime Flight of RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Air System

BINGEN, Wash., April 9, 2013 - Insitu Inc. announced today the successful first maritime flight of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) RQ-21A. The nearly two-hour flight launched from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) after three months of land-based development testing and operational assessment. 


Feb 15, 2012

Insitu Delivers Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Capability to Marines

Cross-institutional teams commence early operations


Jul 31, 2012

Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Completes First Flight

Insitu Inc. announced today the first flight of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) RQ-21A UAS. The 1-hour test flight of the UAS commenced on July 28 at an Insitu facility in eastern Oregon.

The first flight of the STUAS RQ-21A occurred with nearly six months remaining in a tight, 27-month Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) acquisition phase of the STUAS program. The program will provide initial operational capability to U.S. Marine Corps in 2013.


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