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RQ-7 Shadow 200 (AAI)

 
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GunSmoke78

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Post subject: RQ-7 Shadow 200 (AAI) Reply with quote
UAVs,United States

Date Posted: 01-Mar-2005



Jane's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Targets

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AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200

Type

Surveillance and target acquisition UAV.

Development

AAI Corporation, in addition to being the US partner on the Pioneer programme (which see), has built a number of own-design UAV test vehicles, which have amassed many hundreds of hours of flight testing. This experience led to development of the company's Shadow family, of which the 200 is the smallest member. It first flew in 1992 and was selected by the US Army in 1999, being ordered into production as the RQ-7A. An earlier variant, the T-tailed Shadow 200T, did not go into production.
Following a number of incidents in the second half of 2003, in-service Shadows received upgrades to their engines, emergency recovery and landing systems. In addition, incremental planned upgrades are under way. Initially, these concern bringing the prototype and LRIP air vehicles up to full-rate production (FRP) standard and integrating them and the FRP Shadows with the Tactical Common Datalink (TCDL, which see). Beyond this, major improvements will concentrate on increasing payload/range capability and introducing more versatile sensors.

Variants

RQ-7A: Initial production version from 2002. Following description applies to this version except where indicated.
RQ-7B: Improved version, introduced on to production line August 2004. Changes include longer-span wing with more efficient aerofoil section, to accommodate TCDL; enlargement of tail unit, to balance changes to wing; 'significantly increased' fuel capacity for greater endurance; Athena Technologies GS-211e flight controller for more accurate navigation and attitude sensing; and increased target location accuracy.

Airframe

Small, stealthy shoulder-wing monoplane, with pusher engine, twin tailbooms and inverted V tail unit. Construction is mainly (90 per cent) of composites (graphite and Kevlar epoxy). Optionally detachable tricycle landing gear.

Mission payloads

IAI Tamam POP-200 standard for Block 1 RQ-7A; FLIR Systems Mk II for Block 2. US Army Division TUAV Sigint Program (DTSP) initiated late 2001 with 18-month development contracts to Applied Signal Technology, BAE Systems and Raytheon (US$3.5 million each); option to flight test selected system first on RQ-5A Hunter.

Guidance and control

Mobile GCS for Block 1 RQ-7A. Preprogrammed or remotely controlled flight profiles with GPS-based autopilot navigation. AAI compact datalinks (one C-band and one UHF command uplink). See Shadow 600 description for details.

Transportation

Air vehicle can be dismantled and stored/transported in a 0.61 × 0.61 × 1.65 m (2 × 2 × 5.4 ft) container; can be carried by two people. Complete system air-transportable in two C-130 aircraft.

System composition

Four air vehicles with payloads; six HMMWVs; two mobile GCSs; four RVTs and antennas; one portable GCS and one GDT. One HMMWV transports the UAVs and the hydraulic launch trailer; two others each transport one GCS, two are troop and equipment carrier vehicles, and the sixth carries associated support equipment. US Army ground crew of 18.

Launch

Automatic ground launch by hydraulic catapult, or by conventional wheeled take-off.

Recovery

Automatic wheeled landing.

Operational status

Selected as winner of US Army Tactical UAV (TUAV) competition in December 1999; initial LRIP contract of US$41.8 million for four Shadow 200 systems for opeval, delivered from November 2000; option for further four LRIP systems exercised with award of US$19.4 million contract on 11 April 2001. Field qualification tests at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, completed in March 2001; IOT&E at Fort Hood, Texas, began at the end of April 2001 and was completed successfully in May 2002, at which time some 1,700 hours in 900 flights had been completed. Milestone C (approval for full-rate production) was achieved on 1 October 2002.
The RQ-7A was fielded in October 2002 to the US Army's 1st and 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) at Fort Lewis, Washington, the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and for crew training to Fort Huachuca. Nine Shadow 200 systems were deployed during Operation 'Iraqi Freedom' in 2003; by September 2004, Shadows in Iraq (by then reduced to six systems) had flown some 10,000 hours in about 2,500 sorties, units at that time including the 312th and 313th Military Intelligence Battalions of the 82nd Airborne Division. Altogether, as of the same date, AAI had delivered 15 systems to US Army and National Guard operational units and four systems to the Tactical UAV Training Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. All six Stryker BCTs are due to receive the Shadow system by May 2006.
The RQ-7A was deployed to South Korea in late 2003 with the US 2nd Infantry Division (103rd Military Intelligence Battalion), to monitor the northern border zone.This unit was still in situ in early 2005.
First recipient of the RQ-7B is the US Army's 172nd Stryker BCT in Alaska.

Customers

US Army (RQ-7A and RQ-7B); initial requirement for 41 systems (164 aircraft) attained; eventual total of up to 83 systems now anticipated. Will eventually equip 2nd, 4th and 25th Infantry Divisions and 1st Cavalry Division.

SHADOW PROCUREMENT (at January 2005)
ContractContractContractSystemsUAVsVariantGCSsDelivery by
DateTypeValue
(US$ million)
12/99LRIP41.8416RQ-7A8
4/01LRIP19.4416RQ-7A8
3/02LRIP22.3520RQ-7A10?/04
11/03FRP86.0936RQ-7A187/04
12/03FRP97.01144RQ-7A2212/05
12/04FRP71.9832RQ-7B169/06
1/05FRP14.418RQ-7B29/06
Totals352.84216884


Specifications

(RQ-7A except where indicated)

Power plant

One 28.3 kW (38 hp) UEL AR 741 rotary engine; two-blade fixed-pitch wooden pusher propeller. Fuel (39.7 litres; 10.5 US gallons; 8.7 Imp gallons) in fire-retardant, explosion-proof wing cells. Growth option for eventual heavy fuel power plant.

Dimensions

Wing span: RQ-7A3.89 m (12 ft 9.0 in)
RQ-7B4.29 m (14 ft 1.0 in)
Wing area2.14 m2 (23.0 ft2)
Length overall3.40 m (11 ft 2.0 in)
Height overall0.91 m (3 ft 0.0 in)
Propeller diameter0.66 m (2 ft 2.0 in)


Weights

Weight empty91.0 kg (200.6 lb)
Max fuel weight28.6 kg (63 lb)
Max payload25.3 kg (55.7 lb)
Max launching weight154 kg (340 lb)


Performance

Max level speed at S/L123 kt (228 km/h; 141 mph)
Max cruising speed84 kt (156 km/h; 97 mph)
Loiter speed: at S/L53 kt (99 km/h; 61 mph)
at 4,575 m (15,000 ft)57 kt (106 km/h; 66 mph)
Optimum climbing speed80-85 kt (148-157 km/h; 92-98 mph)
Stalling speed at S/L55 kt (102 km/h; 64 mph)
Max rate of climb at S/L457 m (1,500 ft)/min
*Ceiling4,575 m (15,000 ft)
T-O run250 m (820 ft)
Operational radius43 n miles (80 km; 69 miles)
Max datalink range67.5 n miles (125 km; 78 miles)
Max endurance: RQ-7A5 h 30 min
RQ-7B7 h
g limit+3.6

* Limited by engine fuel/air mixture

Prime contractor

AAI Corporation
Hunt Valley, Maryland.

UPDATED


Shadow 200 with tricycle landing gear


Shadow 200 TUAV, now in full-rate production (Jane's/Kenneth Munson)


Shadow 200 on its hydraulic rail launcher


US Army personnel preparing to launch an RQ-7A (US DoD)


Shadow 200 general arrangement (Jane's/John W Wood)

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© 2005 Jane's Information Group Kenneth Munson

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PostFri Jul 29 17:28:06 2005
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