Did you know small drones have an arrestor hook? Photos show U.S. Army RQ-7 Shadow ‘bot performing arrested landing in Afghanistan.

Made available by the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, the following pictures not only provide some behind the scenes images of the RQ-7 Shadow operations (at Forward Operating Base Warrior, in the Ghazni province?), in Afghanistan, but clearly show how, just like jets on an aircraft carrier, the small robot can perform arrested landings using a tailhook.

Indeed, the RQ-7 Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult and can be recovered with the aid of an arrestor hook similar to that of many combat planes.

A drone landing at night

A U.S. Army PTSD Aerostat used for anti-IED purposes can be seen in the background.

A safety net is deployed: it can be used to arrest the drone when the arresting wire can’t be used.

Image credit: 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division

The following video, shows a USMC Shadow catching the wires at Camp Leatherneck, in Afghanistan in Oct. 2011.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.