Shadow Infrastructure: Supporting the RQ-7 UASNov 19, 2012 17:12 UTC
RQ-7 Shadow UAVs can be launched via runway or catapult, and land on runways. They’ve become the mainstay tactical-class battalion/ brigade level UAS for the US Army and US Marine Corps, and have also been exported to a number of countries. Italy and Sweden picked it, and Australia bought it under their JP129 program when their original choice didn’t perform.
The RQ-7B offers a longer wingspan and larger tail than the initial RQ-7A, and can carry a payload of 27.2 kg/ 60 pounds. This usually entails IAI Tamam POP-200/300 or L-3 Wescam 11SST surveillance turrets, but add-on kits can insert useful capabilities like laser targeting, the TCDL datalink, communication relays, or other sensors. The US Marines are even investigating weapon options. Meanwhile, that large UAV fleet needs support.