Blackjack drones for the United Arab Emirates

DSCA announced that on May 24, it has agreed to the sale of RQ-21A Blackjack tactical UAVs in the United Arab Emirates. This contract, estimated at $ 80M, must now be approved by the US Congress and covers 20 aircraft, also includes a positioning system (GPS) and an anti-jamming capability. Eight ground control stations are also composed, as well as catapults and recovery systems. A training component may also be included.

Blackjack drones for the United Arab Emirates US Marines prepare to launch an RQ-21 Blackjack UAS during a Weapons and Tactics Instructors Course at Yuma, Arizona, on Octocber 13, 2017 (Picture source: US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Rhita Daniel)

According to the DSCA, the provision of such systems in the United Arab Emirates is necessary to ensure the security of the country. They will enable the UAE armed forces to carry out their missions by strengthening their security. The use of the RQ-21A Blackjack UAVs will further strengthen the interoperability of the UAE with the United States.

The RQ-21A UAV system was designed to carry out missions in the land and maritime environment. It can thus participate in the security of military bases via surveillance missions but can also be used in operations. Send an upstream, it identifies potential risks and dangerous areas. Blackjack can carry electro-optical and infrared cameras, allowing it to operate in daytime and nighttime environments.