RQ-7A Shadow 200
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: RQ-7B Shadow 200
Origin: United States of America
AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Parent System: RQ-7 Shadow 200
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2002
Total Production: 500
Total Cost: USD$750 million
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Description: The RQ-7A Shadow 200 is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) designed to meet the US Amy requirements for a surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition UAV operable day or night, and limited adverse weather. It provides an initial range of 50 km to US regiments and brigades with a future, objective range extending to 200 km. In order to fulfill different mission profiles, the Shadow 200 UAV can accommodate different modular payloads. The Shadow 200 UAV requires a hydraulic rail launcher to takeoff and can land conventionally or through a deployable arresting hook. The RQ-7B is an improved variant incorporating changes to the wing, tail, and avionics that was introduced in August 2004.
Originally, the US Army planned to purchase up to 41 RQ-7 Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicle systems but the final number of systems to be procured by the Army could exceed 100. The 41 Shadow 200 systems translate into more than 123 Shadow 200 UAV air vehicles. In early 2003, the Shadow 200 began deployment in Iraq acting at Brigade level. In August 2005, BAE Systems announced that the US Army had placed a contract for 12 additional Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicle systems. As of August 2005, including this contract, the US Army has ordered 56 systems with 224 unmanned aerial vehicles. Deliveries, which began in 1999, were expected to be complete by November 2006. Shadow 200 is being offered to the Australian Defence Forces to meet its requirements for a tactical UAV.
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