MARINE CORPS C4ISR AND UNMANNED SYSTEMS
MAJOR UNMANNED SYSTEMS
communications relay for up to 12 hours per day continuously
with a short surge capability for 24 hours a day. Payloads
include day/night full-motion video cameras, infrared marker,
laser rangefinder, communications relay package and Automatic
Identification System receivers. Ancillary equipment includes
launch/recovery mechanisms, tactical communications equipment and spares. The fully autonomous launch and recovery
system will require minimal space for takeoff and recovery from
an unimproved expeditionary/urban environment, as well as
from the decks of Navy ships.
The Marine Corps requirement is 32 RQ-21A systems, and
the Navy requirement is 25 systems for shipboard, special warfare and expeditionary missions. In July 2010, the Navy awarded a contract for the design, development, integration and test
of the RQ-21A. The Marine Corps exercised an early operational
capability option and took delivery in late 2011 of two systems.
The RQ-21A completed its first shipboard flight in February
2013 from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde.
The first low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot was delivered
December 2013. Initial Operational Test & Evaluation began
January 2014 and was scheduled for completion before end of
2014. LRIP II was delivered September 2014. IOC is slated for
early 2015. The early operational capability system completed
its first land-based operational deployment to Afghanistan in
September 2014. The RQ-21A will be deployed by Marine
unmanned air vehicle squadrons.
CONTRACTOR: ...........Insitu Inc.
BRIEFING: The RQ-7B Shadow Tactical UAS consists of three
aircraft plus a spare, two GCSs with state-of-the-art data link terminals and automatic landing systems, one portable GCS, an
aircraft transport with hydraulic launcher and landing arresting
gear, four remote video terminals and equipment transports in
its basic configuration. Primarily designed for day or night
reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment, the Shadow system provides laser designation
capability and robust intelligence to ground troops and commanders by employing an EO/IR sensor. The RQ-7B Shadow air
vehicles also are capable of providing communication relay to
supported ground forces.
The RQ-7B Shadow is launched from a pneumatic catapult
that can be erected in less than 30 minutes. The system uses an
automated landing system to pilot the vehicle from a loiter pattern to landing on an area roughly the size of a football field.
Arresting gear is used to stop the vehicle via a tailhook on the aircraft after touchdown. The legacy Shadow systems have a payload
capacity of 65 pounds and can patrol for up to six hours.
The first Marine Shadow system was delivered to Marine
Unmanned Vehicle Squadron 1 in 2007, with the final system
delivered in 2012. The RQ-7B Shadow was deployed in support
of U.S. and allied operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. All Marine
Corps Shadow systems have been withdrawn from those theaters of operation.
The Marine Corps is currently upgrading the systems to the
Tactical Common Data Link configuration, which includes
more secure data and video transmission, air vehicle modifications for improved endurance and a transition from analog GCS
to digital universal GCS.
CONTRACTOR: ........... Textron Systems Unmanned Systems
K-MAX CARGO RESUPPLY UAS
BRIEFING: The Cargo Resupply UAS (CRUAS) consists of a
single system based on two unmanned K-MAX helicopters,
Main Operating Base and Forward Operating Base Ground
Control Stations, and associated ground support equipment and
spares. The Marine Corps conducted evaluations the K-MAX to
fill an urgent requirement for an unmanned ability to
deliver/retrograde cargo to forward operating bases while avoiding the use of convoys over dangerous routes. In November
2011, the Marine Corps deployed CRUAS as a government-owned, contractor-operated system with VMU- 1 to Afghanistan
for a six-month evaluation in combat conditions. The deployment was extended through May 2014. The two K-MAX aircraft,
along with the rest of the system, are in storage pending a decision to use the system in support of further Cargo UAS experimentation and concept of operations development.
CONTRACTORS:.........Lockheed Martin Corp., Kaman Corp.