Thursday, June 20, 2024

U.S. Marine’s Shadow UAS conducted final flight during RIMPAC

The RQ-7B Shadow Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) of the  U.S. Marines with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 had conducted its final flight during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

According to the press service of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, during RIMPAC exercise was held last flight for the Shadow in the U.S. Marine Corps in which the platform will be replaced with the RQ-21 Blackjack, a technologically superior and expeditionary UAS.

The RQ-7 Shadow UAS is an Army owned product leased by the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps is currently out the Shadow and upgrading to the RQ-21A Blackjack system, which is a Marine Corps owned product.


The RQ-7 Shadow is designed for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment. Launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult, it is recovered with the aid of arresting gear similar to jets on an aircraft carrier. Its gimbal-mounted, digitally stabilized, liquid nitrogen-cooled electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera relays video in real time via a C-band line-of-sight data link to the ground control station (GCS).

The Blackjack will provide day and night intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance coverage in real time. It can fly up to 16 hours, is eight feet long, and will include day and night full motion video cameras, infrared markers, laser range finders, a communications relay package and automatic identification system receivers.

RQ-21A Blackjack is the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System designed and manufactured by Insitu Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company. RQ-21A Blackjack is a Group 3 UAV.

The Blackjack can be deployed in persistent maritime and land-based tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, data collection, target acquisition and dissemination missions.

The multi-intelligence aircraft system constitutes five air vehicles with multi-mission payloads, two ground control stations and ancillary equipment.

A U.S. Marine Corps RQ-7B Shadow Unmanned Aircraft System Photo by Sgt. Jesus Sepulveda Torres
A U.S. Marine Corps RQ-7B Shadow Unmanned Aircraft System Photo by Sgt. Jesus Sepulveda Torres
A U.S. Marine Corps RQ-7B Shadow Unmanned Aircraft System Photo by Sgt. Jesus Sepulveda Torres

If you would like to show your support for what we are doing, here's where to do it.

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more



Vietnam-era M113 armored vehicle gets new firepower

Belgium's John Cockerill has showcased upgraded Vietnam-era M113 armored vehicles equipped with the advanced Cockerill Protected Weapon Station (CPWS) at Eurosatory 2024. The CPWS is...