On Jan. 22, 2012, U.S. Marines witnessed the first flight of “The Integrator,” the service’s newest small, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Jan. 22, says Insitu, the company that is developing the UAV.
The Integrator flew for two hours at the U.S. Marine facility in Twentynine Palms, Calif., as part of the RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System Early Operational Capability, the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command said.
Personnel from the Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 2 and 3, and Insitu operators shared control of the Integrator for its two-hour maiden flight.
“The lessons learned from this flight and all operations that will be conducted at Twentynine Palms are invaluable,” said Lt. Col. John Allee, STUAS integrated product team co-lead at Pax River. “It will help our Marines fully understand how to operate the system when in theater.”
Insitu delivered the first “early operational capability” (EOC) system, which is the current configuration of the company’s Integrator, to Twentynine Palms early in January. The EOC contract option allows for up to 30 months of contractor-provided training and logistics services for the Integrator system. The team at Pax River received the second EOC system Jan. 12.