Procurement: April 26, 2004


The U.S. Army has ordered eleven more Shadow 200 RQ-7A Tactical UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) systems for $8.8 million each. Each system includes four UAVs, two ground control stations, a launcher and communications equipment needed to control the UAV in the air and guide it in for landing. Each UAV weighs 327 pounds and can carry 56 pounds of equipment (usually a day or night vision camera and a transmitter). The UAV is eleven feet long and has a wingspan of 12.75 feet. It can fly as high as 15,000 feet (out of range of small arms). The Shadow has a range of about 50 kilometers and can stay in the air for up to six hours. The army is equipping each combat brigade with a shadow system, to provide the brigade with its own aerial reconnaissance capability. The Shadow has been in use for several years, and the troops are pleased with the ease of use and the quality of the video they get from it. The Shadow has been very reliable, with UAVs being available for use 95 percent of the time. 


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