Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) — RQ-7Bv2
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DESCRIPTION

The RQ-7Bv2 Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) provides reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and force protection for the Brigade Combat Team (BCT) in near-real-time during day, night and limited adverse weather conditions. The system is compatible with the All Source Analysis System, Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Common Ground Station, Joint Technical Architecture – Army, and the Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment and the Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS). The RQ-7Bv2 Shadow can be transported by six Air Force C-130 aircraft.

The RQ-7Bv2 Shadow configuration, fielded in platoon sets, consists of:

  • Four air vehicles with day and night electro-optical and infrared (IR) with laser designator and IR illuminator payloads
  • Two UGCS on High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles
  • Four One System Remote Video Transceivers
  • One hydraulic launcher
  • Two ground data terminals
  • Associated trucks, trailers and support equipment

Shadow platoons are organic to the BCT. The Soldier platoon consists of a platoon leader, platoon sergeant, unmanned aerial vehicle warrant officer, 12 air vehicle operators and mission payload operators, four electronic warfare repair personnel, and three engine mechanics supporting launch and recovery. The Maintenance Section Multifunctional is manned by Soldiers who also transport spares and provide maintenance support. The Mobile Maintenance Facility is manned by contractor personnel located with the Shadow platoon to provide logistics support to include off-system support and maintenance-by-repair.
The Shadow also has an early entry configuration of 15 Soldiers, one Ground Control Station, the air vehicle transport High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle and the launcher trailer, which can be transported in three C-130s. All components can be slung under a CH-47 or CH-53 helicopter for transport.

BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER

The RQ-7Bv2 provides Army BCT, Aviation Brigades and Special Operation Units dedicated near-real-time reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition; intelligence; battle damage assessment; and Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) capability. The RQ-7Bv2, teamed with the AH-64D/E, provides support and situational awareness to both the Soldier on the ground and warfighting leadership as they carry out operations in support of U.S. national interests.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Wingspan: 20 feet
  • Gross takeoff weight: 440-plus pounds
  • Payload capacity: 60 pounds
  • Endurance: 8-plus hours on-station at a distance of 50 km
  • Capable of cooperative engagements with AH-64E Apache for MUM-T

PROGRAM STATUS

Current: In Production and Deployment with the V2 configuration; flown more than 960,000 hours, 90 percent in combat

PROJECTED ACTIVITIES

FY18-FY19: Complete Fielding of the RQ-7BV2 systems to the Active Army and National Guard

Contractors

  • Shadow System AAI Corp. (Textron Systems) (Hunt Valley, MD)