Insitu was awarded the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) contract in 2010 to begin development of RQ-21A Blackjack. The program began Low Rate Initial Production in 2013 and in 2014 Blackjack deployed in an Early Operational Capability capacity for the Marine Corps. 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, flexible and multi-mission capable, providing roll-on, roll-off 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.