US Army National Guard orders two AAI RQ-7 Shadow TUAS

World Defense & Security News - United States
US Army National Guard orders two AAI RQ-7 Shadow TUAS
The US-based UAVs manufacturer AAI Corp., part of Textron Systems, has been awarded a $22 million contract two RQ-7 Shadow RPAS in support of the US Army National Guard, the US Department of Defense announced on Sept. 26 on its website.
US Army National Guard orders two AAI RQ 7 Shadow 640 001RQ-7Bv2 Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS)
(Credit: US Army)
"Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2019. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity," the US DoD said.

The AAI RQ-7 Shadow is an American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mainly used by the United States Army and Marine Corps for ISR, target acquisition and battle damage assessment missions.

Within the US Army, it provides Brigade Combat Team (BCT) in near-real-time during day/night and limited adverse weather conditions.

The RQ-7B Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) has a wingspan of 6 meters and a payload capacity of approximately 27 kg. Its gross takeoff weight exceeds 208 kg, and endurance is nine hours from take-off to landing.

Beginning in 2014, US Army's Shadow platoons are organic to the Aviation Brigade and operate as part of a Manned-Unmanned Team with the Apache helicopter.

The latest variant, the RQ-7Bv2, completed FOT&E in May 2014 and begins fielding in January 2015. The RQ-7Bv2 adds Type I Encryption, provides interoperability with Gray Eagle UAV and Apache attack helicopters, and mitigates computer and software obsolescence.