US Approves RQ-21A Blackjack Sale to UAE

Above: A US Marine Corps/Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron One (VMU-1) RQ-21A Blackjack being prepared for launch on March 27 at Canon Air Defense Complex in Yuma, Arizona.  The US has approved the urgent sale of 20 Blackjacks to the UAE.  USMC/Lance Cpl Auburne D Johnson

US STATE Department approval has been given for a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates of Insitu RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned air vehicles, plus support, at an estimated cost of $80 million.  The approval was announced on May 24 by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on the same date.

The Government of the UAE has requested to buy 20 RQ-21A UAVs, along with 40 Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) Type II (MPE-S); air vehicle support equipment including eight Ground Control Stations (GCS), four launchers, and four retrievers; spare and repair parts; publications; training and technical support services.

The DSCA said that the US Secretary of State has determined and provided detailed justification that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to the UAE of these defence articles and services in the national security interests of the United States, thereby waiving the Congressional review requirements under Section 36(b) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended.