Military Factory logo

Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack (Integrator)

United States (2014)
Picture of Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack (Integrator) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Formerly known as the Integrator, the Boeing Insitu RQ-21 UAV is now recognized as the Blackjack.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack (Integrator) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Entry last updated on 2/9/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Boeing Insitu RQ-21 "Blackjack" (formerly known as the "Integrator") is an in-development Unmanned Air System (UAS) intended to supplant the Boeing Scan Eagle UAV currently in service with the United States Navy and several other US allies. Both drones are low-cost, small-class unmanned aerial systems intended for at-sea launch and recovery and over-water surveillance operations. Insitu is a subsidiary of defense industry powerhouse Boeing and is based in Bingen, Washington. Boeing acquired the medium-sized UAV developer in the summer of 2008.

Unlike the preceding Scan Eagle design, the Blackjack makes use of a twin-boom configuration utilizing a centralized fuselage nacelle, straight wing assemblies and a rear-mounted engine situated in a "pusher" arrangement (the Scan Eagle was simpler design with no discernible tail section and swept-back wings. Borrowing from its Scan Eagle roots, Insitu has included support for existing Scan Eagle equipment to be used in the function of the Blackjack including its in-house Insitu "SuperWedge" pneumatic catapult launching system and precision "Skyhook" retrieval system, the latter "hooking" the incoming aircraft by a dangling rope atop a mast making contact with a hook fitted to a wingtip. The Blackjack is also dimensionally larger than the preceding Scan Eagle and, therefore, can showcase much improved mission performance specifications. The Blackjack sports a running length of just over 7 feet with a wingspan measuring 16 feet. The available engine fitting (an NWUAV gas / HFE powerplant) supplies the airframe with a cruising speed of 63 miles per hour and a useful mission endurance time of 24 hours. The aircraft's operating service ceiling is listed at 15,000 feet. Overall weight is a manageable 120lbs. All told, the provided specifications make the Blackjack a viable option for at-sea service, being both budget-conscious and portable compared to larger UAV brethren.
The official American military designation for the Blackjack is "RQ-21A". The vehicle recorded its first flight on July 28th, 2012 and has since gone on to complete several requisite over-land and at-sea trials. The Blackjack was most recently (February of 2013) seen in evaluations with the USS Mesa Verde, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. The United States Navy is validating the Blackjack system for possible quantitative procurement which currently is set at 5 air vehicles across 4 complete Blackjack packages. They are joined by the United States Marine Corps which is optimistically eyeing some 32 complete Blackjack systems with 5 air vehicles per package. The Netherlands is the only other notable potential operator and is considering five packages total. It is expected that the Blackjack would see operational service levels reached sometime in 2013-2014 with the US military and 2014 with the Royal Netherlands Army.

September 2016 - It was announced that Canada had become the RQ-21's first true export customer. A package of five air vehicles has been committed to.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (92mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack (Integrator)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
12
12


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 2014
Type: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturer(s): Boeing Insitu - USA
Production: 12
Status: Active, Limited Service
Global Operators:
Canada; Netherlands; United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack (Integrator) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
7.22 ft


Meters
2.2 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
16.08 ft


Meters
4.9 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
134 lb


Kilograms
61 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x NWUAV gas / HFE powerplant arrangement.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
92 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
148 kph


Knots
80 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,491 mi


Kilometers
2,400 km


Nautical Miles
1,296 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
15,000 ft


Meters
4,572 m


Miles
2.84 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None. Mission equipment will revolve around data collection for the maritime surveillance role.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• RQ-21 "Blackjack " - Base Series Designation; formerly recognized as the "Integrator".
• RQ-21A - US military designation of initial production models.