Blackjack achieves IOC

By Justin Doubleday / January 26, 2016 at 1:59 PM

The RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft recently achieved initial operational capability, meaning the first Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) is ready to deploy with the system, according to Naval Air Systems Command.

The small Blackjack drone, at just eight feet long, does not require a runway and can stay in the air collecting intelligence for up to 12 hours.

One system is comprised of five air vehicles, two ground control systems, and launch and recovery equipment.

According to NAVAIR, the first Blackjack system was delivered to VMU-2 last month. The squadron will make their first shipboard deployment with the Blackjack this summer.