Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Scale (2024) Special Forces

AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow

Multirole Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

United States | 2002

"The AAI RQ-7 Shadow UAV saw extensive operational service with American forces in the wars covering Afghanistan and Iraq."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the AAI RQ-7A Shadow 200 Tactical Multirole Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
1 x UEL AR-741 208cc rotary piston engine developing 38 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller unit in pusher configuration.
129 mph
207 kph | 112 kts
Max Speed
14,993 ft
4,570 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
457 miles
735 km | 397 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the AAI RQ-7A Shadow 200 Tactical Multirole Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
11.2 ft
3.40 m
O/A Length
12.8 ft
(3.90 m)
O/A Width
3.3 ft
(1.00 m)
O/A Height
165 lb
(75 kg)
Empty Weight
331 lb
(150 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow Multirole Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) .
None. Payload of 60lb for various reconnaissance and surveillance equipment.
Notable series variants as part of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow family line.
RQ-7A - Model of 2002/2003; initial Production Model Designation.
RQ-7B - Model of 2004; larger wings; redesigned and more efficient airfoil; increased fuel capacity and range/endurance (7 hours); redesigned and larger tail unit; improved avionics suite; improved payload; TCDL (Tactical Common Data Link).
Shadow M2 - Test vehicleof 2011; blended wing/body; increased domensions and payload capabilities.
Shadow 600 - Fuel-injected engine; swept wings; larger UAV EL 801 52-horsepower engine for improved performance; larger version of RQ-7 series.
SR/C Shadow - Joint Textron / Bell initiative covering two modified Shadow UAVs with VTOL capability.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/29/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The AAI Corporation RQ-7 Shadow is an unarmed tactical reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle currently in active service with the United States Army and Marine Corps. The system serves as a day-night, target acquisition, surveillance and battlefield assessment platform by commanders on the ground. Similar in design to AAI's previous UAV offering in the RQ-2 Pioneer, the RQ-7 Shadow has seen extensive service in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Design-wise, the Shadow features a straight monoplane high-wing fixed to the rear of the fuselage. The fuselage itself is smooth with straight faces and a fixed undercarriage consists of two main wheels and a nose wheel. Tubular tail booms extend from the trailing edge of each wing and straddle the rear-mounted, propeller-driven pusher engine. The tail section ends in a unique angle-up shape. The bread-and-butter of the system is its electro-optical/infrared real-time relay camera held underneath the fuselage. The camera is gimbal-mounted and digitally-stabilized.

Shadow UAV's do not have the capacity to operate on their own and as such are fielded with integral components that make up a complete Shadow system. A Shadow system will consist of four Shadow UAVs, a rail launch trailer, personnel vehicles and two ground stations. The Shadow is rail-launched and recovered on a runway via a tail hook. Preparation time to get a Shadow in the air can be as little as 1 hour.

The RQ-7A is just over 11 feet long with a wingspan of nearly 13 feet and a height of 3 feet. The system weighs in at roughly 165lbs empty and 328lbs with a maximum payload. Power is derived from a single UEL AR-741 rotary piston engine of 208cc generating 38 horsepower. The engine is set up in a "pusher" fashion at the extreme end of the fuselage nacelle. A ceiling of up to 14,000 feet is reported with an endurance time of some 5 hours.

The RQ-7B variant is an improvement over the original production A models in almost every way. The wings have been redesigned with a larger surface and new airfoil along with a new tail unit. Fuel capacity has been increased which has effectively increased the Shadow's operational endurance limit to 7 hours (up from 5 hours in initial production models). Payload options have been expanded and the data link system has been upgraded to the Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL). Production of the RQ-7B began in the summer of 2004.

Besides supplying ground commanders with a "bird's eye view" of the battlefield in real-time, the Shadow is capable of carrying and dropping valuable medical supplies to ground troops via "Quick-MEDS (Medical Emergency Delivery System). Two such 20lb canisters can be delivered underwing. A "signals interception" package is also in development.

There have been over 550 Shadow UAVs built and operators now include the United States (Army, Navy and Marines), Australia, Italy, Pakistan, Romania, and Sweden. The U.S. Army along operates over 450 units.

RQ-7 derives its name from the Department of Defense designation system for UAV's. The "R" stands for Reconnaissance while the "Q" designates it as an unmanned aircraft. The number "7" notes it as the seventh purposely developed unmanned aircraft in the series of unmanned aerial aircraft systems in service with the US military.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

February 2019 - The United States Army has begun to look towards a direct successor for its Textron Shadow UAV line.

March 2019 - The United States Army has tagged both Martin UAV and Textron Systems as contenders to replace the aging, outgoing line of RQ-7B Shadow UAVs in its inventory. The Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System program has been set up to cover this project.

Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 600 Units

Contractor(s): AAI Corporation / Textron - USA
National flag of Australia National flag of Italy National flag of Pakistan National flag of Romania National flag of Sweden National flag of the United States

[ Australia; Italy; Pakistan; Romania; Sweden; United States ]
1 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
3 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
4 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
5 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
An operator wheeling out an RQ-7 Shadow 200 UAV
6 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
Operators preparing an RQ-7 Shadow 200 UAV for flight
7 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
Operators attending to an RQ-7 Shadow UAV
8 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
Close-up detail view of the right front side of an RQ-7 Shadow UAV
9 / 9
Image of the AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow
An AAI Corporation RQ-7 Shadow 200 UAV being launched from its launch rail

Going Further...
The AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow Multirole Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks of the World U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols Breakdown U.S. 5-Star Generals List WWII Weapons by Country World War Next

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)