Boeing/Insitu has delivered the first RQ-21 Integrator to the US Navy for testing and evaluation. The aircraft, flying at Twentynine Palms MCB, in California, will be used to train operators and gain data in advance of the type's initial operational capability (IOC).
A second aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to Navy testing grounds at NAS Patuxent River the week of 22 January, to be used mainly for ground testing.
The deliveries come in advance of the small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS) deliveries, which will see operational examples providing real-world intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to the Navy and Marine Corps beginning in 2013.
The aircraft is also competing for the ISR Services contract, a fee-for-service arrangement to provide ISR to the Navy in advance of the STUAS aircraft's IOC certification and eventual full operational capability.
The early operational capability (EOC) contract allows the Navy to purchase up to 20 aircraft for testing and training in advance of STUAS.