×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
HOME
AIRCRAFT / AVIATION
MODERN AIR FORCES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
MODERN AIRCRAFT
DRONE TECHNOLOGY

AAI (Textron) RQ-7 Shadow


Multirole Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (2002)


Aviation / Aerospace

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

Jump-to: Specifications

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



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/29/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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.

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.

Specifications



Service Year
2002

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Status
ACTIVE
In Active Service.
Crew
0
UNMANNED
Production
600
UNITS


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
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Special Forces
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.


Length
11.2 ft
(3.40 m)
Width/Span
12.8 ft
(3.90 m)
Height
3.3 ft
(1.00 m)
Empty Wgt
165 lb
(75 kg)
MTOW
331 lb
(150 kg)
Wgt Diff
+165 lb
(+75 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the AAI RQ-7A Shadow 200 Tactical production variant)
Installed: 1 x UEL AR-741 208cc rotary piston engine developing 38 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller unit in pusher configuration.
Max Speed
129 mph
(207 kph | 112 kts)
Ceiling
14,993 ft
(4,570 m | 3 mi)
Range
457 mi
(735 km | 1,361 nm)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the AAI RQ-7A Shadow 200 Tactical production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
None. Payload of 60lb for various reconnaissance and surveillance equipment.


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.


Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.

Advertisements





Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

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.

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, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-