The U.S. Marine Corps deployed its first RQ-21A Blackjack system to Afghanistan in late April 2014. One Blackjack system is composed of five air vehicles, two ground control systems, and launch and recovery support equipment. It supports intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions using multi-intelligence payloads including day and night full-motion video cameras, an infrared marker, a laser range finder, a communications relay package, and automatic identification system receivers.
The RQ-21 Blackjack is an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) designed and built by Boeing to meet a U.S. Navy requirement for a small tactical unmanned air system (STUAS). In this video, Marines launch a RQ-21A Blackjack from the flight deck of the USS San Diego (LPD-22) during PHIBRON-MEU Integration, April 12, 2017. The Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced) attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit launched and recovered the RQ-21A Blackjack after conducting a surveillance and reconnaissance mission. PMINT is the 15th MEU’s first at-sea training period and an opportunity for the Marines to work closely with their Navy counterparts as they complete mission essential tasks.
Watch the RQ-21A Blackjack as it takes to the sky below: