Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (Tuas)
The RQ-7B Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) has a wingspan of 20 feet and a payload capacity of approximately 60 pounds. Gross takeoff weight exceeds 460 pounds, and endurance is nine hours from take-off to landing. The system is compatible with the All Source Analysis System, Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Common Ground Station, Joint Technical Architecture–Army, the Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment, and the One System Ground Control Station (OSGCS). It is currently operational in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps.
The RQ-7B Shadow configuration, fielded in platoon sets, consists of:
- Four air vehicles with day/night electro-optical (EO)/infrared (IR) with laser designator and IR illuminator payloads
- Two Ground Control Station on High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV)
- Communications Relay Payload
- One or two hydraulic launchers
- Two ground data terminals
- Associated trucks, trailers, and support equipment
- Shadow platoons are organic to the BCT. The Soldier platoon consists of a platoon leader, platoon sergeant, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) warrant officer, fifteen Air Vehicle Operators/Mission Payload Operators, and nine maintenance personnel. The Maintenance Section Multifunctional is manned by Soldiers who also transport spares and provide maintenance support. The Mobile Maintenance Facility is manned by contractor personnel located with the Shadow platoon (when deployed) to provide logistics support to include off system support and repair.
- Beginning in 2014, Shadow platoons are organic to the Aviation Brigade and operate as part of a Manned-Unmanned Team with the Apache helicopter.
The RQ-7B Shadow also has an early entry configuration of 15 Soldiers, one Ground Control Station (GCS), the air vehicle transport HMMWV, and the launcher trailer, which can be transported in three C-130s. All components can be slung under a CH-47 or CH-53 helicopter for transport.