AAI Corp., Textron
The RQ-7 Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System is intended to replace the aging RQ-2 Pioneer for the U.S. Marine Corps and will also be deployed with U.S. Army units for reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, and battlefield assessment.
AAI manufactures the Shadow 200 TUAS using the latest avionics technology and manufacturing processes. The aircraft can see targets up to 125 kilometers away from the brigade tactical operations center, and recognize tactical vehicles up to 8,000 feet above the ground at more than 3.5 kilometers slant range, day or night.
The RQ-7 Shadow ground control station transmits imagery and telemetry data directly to the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System, All Sources Analysis System, and Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System in near real time. It also provides targeting data for precision weapons. An entire Shadow TUAS — including all spares, personnel, and other components required to support sustained operations — can be deployed quickly to any location using three C-130 Hercules aircraft. Short-duration operations require only a single C-130.
The RQ-7B Shadow, is deployed in squadrons as an asset of the Marine Expeditionary Force or Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Designed to provide reconnaissance, relay communications and assist in target acquisition, the RQ-7B Shadow keeps an eye above the battlefield for extended periods of time, constantly relaying information between Marine air and ground controls. The Shadow enhances the capabilities of Marine commanders across the spectrum of military operations and was first deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom in September 2007.