Navy orders 24 UAVs and 62 sensor payloads in $32 million Boeing Insitu Deal

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $32 million order late last month to Boeing Insitu Inc. in Bingen, Wash., for four RQ-21A Blackjacks, 20 ScanEagles, 62 ScanEagle payloads and turrets, as well as support equipment and spare parts. The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle UAV is 5.1 feet long with a 5.6-foot wingspan. It weighs as much as 48.5 pounds and can carry a 7.5-pound sensor payload. The UAV can fly for more than 24 hours at altitudes as high as 19.500 feet, and at speeds to 80 knots. The ScanEagle UAV can fly on gasoline or heavy fuels like jet fuel, diesel, or kerosene. It can carry a visible-light camera, medium-wave infrared imager, or both integrated in one turret. The UAV has analog digitally encrypted video data links, as well as encrypted or unencrypted command-and-control data links.

The Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack is a twin-boom, single-engine, monoplane UAV for surveillance and reconnaissance. It can be launched and recovered on land or at sea without runways, using a pneumatic launcher and net-type recovery system.  The 81-pound RQ-21A Blackjack is has a length of 8 feet with a 16-foot wingspan.  It can fly for 24 hours up to an altitude of 19,500 feet. It can reach a speed of 104 mph and cruise at 63 mph. The Blackjack's standard sensor payload consists of a visible-light imager, mid-wave infrared imager, laser rangefinder, infrared marker, communications, and Automatic Identification System (AIS). For details, visit

Our thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, for his assistance with this report, the background for which appeared in the # 23 - 10 - 3 AUGUST 2023 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).
David distributes the USN, a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every three to four weeks as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.