by Geoff Ziezulewicz
Patuxent River, Md. (UPI) Aug 30, 2016
The U.S. Navy has signed an agreement with Canada for the sale of an RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aerial system, the first international sale of the drone, the service announced Monday.
One Blackjack system is to be delivered to the Canadian army in 2017, Naval Air Systems Command said in a statement.
The value of the contract was not disclosed.
The delivery will help Canada grow their small tactical drone capabilities, NAVAIR said. At the same time, the deal will help drive down the U.S. Blackjack program cost per unit.
The Blackjack system, built by Insitu, is comprised of five air vehicles, two ground control stations and launch and recovery equipment that does not require a runway.
With a length of 8 feet and a 16-foot wingspan, the Blackjack's open-architecture configuration can integrate multiple sensor payloads and features a 10- to 12-hour endurance.
The Blackjack is currently underway with the USS San Antonio for its first shipboard deployment and successfully completed its first operational flight in July.
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