NAVAIR Orders 80 Blackjack, 93 ScanEagle UAVs

U.S. Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), prepare to launch an RQ-21A Blackjack in March 2019. U.S. MARINE CORPS / Lance Cpl. Israel Chincio

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has awarded a contract for Blackjack and ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles for the Navy and Marine Corps and several foreign nations.

Insitu Inc. of Bingen, Washington, was awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command a $390.1 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for up to 63 RQ-21A [Blackjack] attrition air vehicles for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy,” a June 28 Defense Department announcement said. “In addition, this contract provides for up to six RQ-21A unmanned aircraft systems and up to 17 RQ-21A air vehicles for foreign military sales customers, including the governments of Canada, Poland and Oman.”

Insitu also will also provide up to 93 ScanEagle UASs in various configurations, the announcement said. “In addition, this contract provides for associated services, including training, test and engineering, development of engineering change proposals, operations support, organizational level maintenance, field service representatives, land and ship surveys, hardware site activations, hardware installs, repairs, and data.”

The RQ-21A Blackjack has seen service as a surveillance platform with the Marine Corps in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Contractor-owned and operated ScanEagles have operated in support of U.S. and partner nations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ScanEagle also has be operated by U.S. Special Operations command and by several foreign nations. 

The orders are expected to be completed by June 2022.