The Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Integrator is an American unmanned air vehicle designed and built by Boeing Insitu to meet a United States Navy requirement for a small tactical unmanned air system (STUAS). It is a twin-boomed, single-engined, monoplane, designed as a replacement for the Boeing Scan Eagle. The Integrator weighs 61kg (135lb) and uses the same launcher and recovery system as the Scan Eagle.
Design and development
The RQ-21A Integrator first flew on 28 July 2012.
On 10 September 2012, the Integrator entered developmental testing with a 66 minute flight. The Navy launched one using a pneumatic launcher and a recovery system known as Skyhook. This eliminates the need for runways and enables a safe recovery and expeditionary capability for tactical missions on land or sea. At the current testing rate, Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is expected in 2013.
On 10 February 2013, the Integrator completed its first at-sea flight from the USS Mesa Verde San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. This followed completing three months of land-based flights.
On 19 February 2013, Insitu completed the first flight of the RQ-21A Block II. It weighs 121 lb and flew for 2 hours. It was controlled by a new ground control system meant to integrate dissimilar UAV systems. The Block II has the sensor from the Nighteagle, the night version of the ScanEagle, and is designed to operate in high-temperature environments.
On 15 May 2013, the Department of the Navy announced that the RQ-21A Integrator received Milestone C approval authorizing the start of low rate initial production. With Milestone C approval, the Integrator entered production and deployment. The Navy has ordered 36 systems of five aircraft each, for use by the Navy and Marine Corps, to augment and replace the ScanEagle upon which it is based. Initial operating capability (IOC) is planned for 2014.
On 12 June 2013, the RQ-21A completed its first East Coast flight from Webster Field Annex, starting the next phase of tests for the Integrator. The UAV was launched with a pneumatic launcher, flew for 1.8 hours, and was recovered with an Insitu-built system known as the STUAS Recovery System (SRS), which allows safe recovery of the STUAS on land or at sea. This phase of testing is to validate updates made to the aircraft which include software, fuselage, and camera enhancements. The Integrator was test flown at lower density altitudes. Integrated Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) is scheduled for October 2013.
28 July 2012
United States Marine Corps – 32 systems on order each with five air vehicles.100 systems planned by 2017.
United States Navy – Four systems on order each with five air vehicles.
Royal Netherlands Army – 5 systems on order expected to enter service in 2014.
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|USA||Insitu Inc||Bingen, Washington||http://www.insitu.com|