Small Unit Remote Scouting System (SURSS)

SURSS infographic

The Small Unit Remote Scouting System (SURSS) program includes the RQ-11B Raven, RQ-12A Wasp IV and RQ-20A Puma.   These UAS are small, reusable, man-packable/portable. They provide a means to see the battlespace beyond line-of-sight restrictions. The systems fulfill a need for organic, real-time Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) and Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) at the small unit (battalion and below) level.  Assets support numerous unit types across the MAGTF and the Navy fleet.


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RQ-11B Raven

A Marine Corps Special Operations Command small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) operator launches an RQ-11B Raven during a demonstration to senior combat leadership Dec. 12, 2013 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. The demo exhibited the advanced capabilities of the SUAS family of systems to include the Raven, as well as RQ-20A Puma (pictured in background) and RQ-12A Wasp IV. (U.S. Navy photo)

Raven is a battery-powered, hand-launched SUAS that provides over-the-hill intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to Marine Corps units. The system, equipped with electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) cameras, transmits still images and full-motion video to a ground control station (GCS) and remote video terminal. The RQ-11B flies either under manual operator or via a preprogrammed route, and each system contains two air vehicles, one GCS and one remote video terminal. Systems are being upgraded to include a digital data link (DDL) and a more advanced gimbaled EO/IR.

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RQ-12A Wasp IV

An operator launches an RQ-12A Wasp IV as he holds the ground control station monitor. (AeroVironment courtesy photo)

Part of the Small Unit Remote Scouting System program of record, the RQ-12A Wasp micro unmanned aerial vehicle weighs less than three pounds and the system provides real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) and battle damage assessment (BDA) for Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) units. RQ-12A Wasp uses a Digital Data Link (DDL) and dual electro-optical and infrared gimbaled cameras to transmit still images and full-motion video to the Ground Control Station (GCS) and remote video terminal.

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RQ-20A Puma AE

Lance Cpl. Andrew Herring launches the Puma during an operation at Patrol Base Boldak March 4, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The RQ-20A Puma All Environment (AE) provides near real-time, land-based and maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations to Marine Corps units. It allows small units the ability to detect Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and IED-emplacement teams.

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Group 1 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) Training and Logistics Support Activity (TALSA)

TALSA serves as the central location for all Marine Corps SUAS entry-level training programs and ensures Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEFs), MARSOC and Marine Corps Forces Reserve training requirements are met. Through standardized courses that meet SUAS-operator Marine Corps and Joint requirements, the TALSA ensures Marines are properly trained to employ SUASs during contingencies/combat operations. The courses last five to 10 days and upon graduation, students are certified as SUAS operators, unit instructors or unit evaluators, based on course completed, and are prepared to support their unit with boots-on-the-ground ISR capability.

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RQ-21A Blackjack

RQ-21A Blackjack flies off the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) during ship testing July 2013. (Insitu, Inc. courtesy photo)

The RQ-21A Blackjack, formerly known as RQ-21A STUAS,  was selected in 2010 for procurement by the Navy and Marine Corps to fill the requirement for a small tactical unmanned aircraft system. The system provides persistent maritime and land-based tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) data collection and dissemination capabilities to the warfighter. The air vehicle’s open-architecture configuration can integrate new payloads quickly and can carry sensor payloads as heavy as 25 pounds.

View RQ-21A Blackjack program guide here

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