Insitu was awarded the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) contract in 2010 to begin development of RQ-21A Blackjack. The program achieved full rate production in October of 2016 and is currently flown by Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 and 2 (VMU-2 and VMU-2) supporting expeditionary operations worldwide. The program of record for the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy is the first organic and dedicated multi-intelligence Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for USMC and USN tactical commanders.
The RQ-21A Blackjack system is modular, versatile and multi-mission capable, providing rapid transitions between land and maritime environments. The aircraft can safeguard military bases and activities through a pattern of life identification and explosive device detection. The electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) payloads support real-time monitoring to provide indications and threat warnings and its plug-and-play payloads enable multi-intelligence capability to support a broad range of operations. Extended operations via maritime hub-and-spoke capabilities offer real-time over watch for Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) teams, as well as over-the-horizon information and communication relay for ship sensor range extension.