The US Army flew a RQ-7B Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS) during Saber Junction combat training center certification exercise in Germany this year.
The US Army Europe-led exercise is aimed to evaluate the readiness of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment to conduct unified land operations such as pulling security duty and avoiding detection.
Saber Junction 17 is witnessing participation from nearly 4,500 participants from 13 Nato and European partner nations.
With an ability to fly up to six hours, the Shadow UAS provides live aerial imagery directly to the Regimental Tactical Operations Center.
The information collected by the UAS will be used by ground troops during the training exercise.
US Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brandon Sutton said: “Normally we operate and launch from an airstrip, but here, in order to make the training more realistic, we have positioned ourselves in concealment, maneuvering our Ground Control Station from cover to a flight position and then back into cover.”
The two-week long exercise includes two daytime and two night launches of three Shadow UAV systems.
In addition to an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform, the Shadow conducts man-unmanned teaming, with Apache helicopters by ‘lasering’ on a target that can then guide aircraft-mounted hellfire missiles, the US Department of Defense stated.
Using Shadow, pilots will be able to locate and pursue targets rapidly.