Unmanned aerial vehicles

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) provide intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) support for land force operations. The Australian Army operates the RQ-7B Shadow 200 in this role.

The Shadow 200 carries a suite of high resolution cameras above patrolling troops to provide detailed information about activities on the ground. The air vehicle has approximately eight hours endurance, and ground troops are be able to receive footage and data in real-time using ground terminals.

The air vehicles are rail-launched, have a 16' wingspan, a gross weight of 208 kilograms, and are powered by a 29 kilowatt rotary engine.

The Australian Army plans to introduce a small single person launched and operated UAV - the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS). It is intended to provide information to commanders at the combat team level and below through improved reconnaissance and surveillance coverage. It will offer commanders near real-time video and still images with associated metadata by day and night.