Tag Archives: AAI RQ-7 Shadow

These photographs of the Shadow 200 drone being launched and recovered at night by U.S. Army paratroopers in Afghanistan are simply stunning

The following images show the Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicle launched and recovered at night at Forward Operating Base Warrior (in the Ghazni province) in Afghanistan by U.S. Army paratroopers with Company B, 1BSTB.

As already explained, the RQ-7 Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult, that launches the 400-pound UAV in fewer than 40 feet, and can be recovered with the aid of an arrestor hook similar to that of many combat planes.

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

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.

An RQ-7 about to catch the wire

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.

First weapon designed to be dropped by gravity from a drone makes debut

Once used only to perform ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance), drones are getting new weapons day after day confirming a growing trend to arm current UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) in order to make them capable to perform UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles) missions.

Lockheed Martin has developed a new weapon: a drop-glide bomb called Shadow Hawk.

Shadow Hawk is the first weapon designed to be dropped purely by gravity from a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).

Weighing in at 4.9kg (11lb) the bomb has a diameter of 6.9 centimeters (2.75 inches) and is guided by laser designator attached to the drone.

The weapons first launch was from a RQ-7 Shadow at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah on Mar. 28, and the munition, released from an altitude of 5,100 feet, impacted its intended target only 8 inches from the laser spot center at a speed of 460 feet per second.

After the first successful launch, more tests ahead for the new lightweight, low cost PGM that can be delivered by the Shadow UAV.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Image credit: Lockheed Martin via Defense-Update

Photo: RQ-7 Bravo drone launched at night from Kandahar (as it can't fly much on hot days).

The following AP photo shows an RQ-7 Bravo UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) being prepared for launch at Forward Operating Base Pasab, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

It is particularly interesting because it was taken with a long exposure: the headlamps and bodies of a crew from the 508th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army are blurred as they prepare the drone for a night mission.

AP Photo/The Fayetteville Observer, James Robinson

Night flying will be routinely performed during the summer months, not only for tactical purposes, but also because of fuel-leak problems caused by extreme heat: an internal US Marine Corps review of air operations in combat, released in October and available here, raised some questions about the possibility to employ the Shadow for daytime missions.

(U//FOUO) VMU-1 established a “hot weather schedule” during the summer months due to
temperatures that could reach as high as 135 degrees Fahrenheit on the runway.  This
extreme heat could cause the Shadow’s wings to swell and vent fuel.

Obviously, April temperatures are not even comparable to the Afghanistan’s intense summer heat that, according to a Marine Corps Time article, forced the service to fly daytime missions with smaller drones.

A Shadow drone collided midair with an Air Force C-130 in Afghanistan on Aug. 15, 2011. The robot struck the Hercules’s left wing between the engines: although damaged, the aircraft managed to land safely, whereas the RQ-7 crashed.

Looks like summer is not a lucky season for the drone that the USMC wants to “weaponize” as soon as possible.