New UAV demonstrated for Marines

Jan. 27, 2012 at 9:31 AM

PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A new, small tactical unmanned aircraft system performed its maiden flight in California to demonstrate capability to U.S. Marine UAV operators.

The Integrator, being developed by Insitu, flew for two hours at the U.S. Marine facility in Twentynine Palms, Calif., as part of the RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System Early Operational Capability, the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command said.

"The lessons learned from this flight and all operations that will be conducted at Twentynine Palms are invaluable," said Marines Lt. Col. John Allee, STUAS integrated product team co-lead at the command at Patuxent River, Md. "It will help our Marines fully understand how to operate the system when in theater."

The Navy's EOC contract provides for as much as 30 months of contractor-provided training and logistics services for the Integrator system, which was developed into an operable system in just 16 months.

While at Twentynine Palms a government-industry team will continue development of the RQ-21A Integrator, which will carry electro-optic cameras and a laser rangefinder and provide battlefield commanders with real-time ISR information.

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