Marine Shadow UAS to get classified weapon, payload improvement

The Marine Corps has chosen a classified weapon to arm its RQ-7B Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft system and plans to equip two of the aircraft armed with the weapon in Afghanistan before it decides to arm the rest of its 13 remaining systems, reports Aviation Week.

Marine Corps officials are working to have the unidentified weapon declassified to make it easier to test and deploy the armed version, but for now will only say that the weapon is one that is at a "high TRL [high tactical readiness] level."

Meanwhile, several planned payload improvements and various upgrades are in the works for the Shadow, such as a signals-intelligence system, synthetic-aperture radar and Ku-band tactical common data link, which includes encryption and the universal ground control system.

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