First maritime launch for RQ-21A

April 10, 2013 at 10:58 AM
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BINGEN, Wash., April 10 (UPI) -- A small tactical UAS from Insitu Inc. has been launched for the first time from a U.S. Navy ship following months of land testing and assessment.

The RQ-21A unmanned aircraft system, built for the Navy and Marine Corps, flew for two hours, the company said.

"Insitu is extremely proud of the partnership we have with Naval Air Systems Command," said Insitu Senior Vice President of Integrator Programs Ryan Hartman. "We see this milestone as confirmation of our government-industry team's commitment to delivering the first expeditionary, multi-intelligence UAS in this class to the Navy and Marine Corps."

The RQ-21A is a single-engine aircraft that weighs just 135 pounds. It has a cruise speed of about 61 miles per hour and an altitude ceiling of 15,000 feet.

The aircraft, sent aloft through the use of a pneumatic launcher, is for maritime and land-based tactical intelligence,

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