Marines Test Classified Weapon on Shadow Drone

Photo By: Pfc. Amanda McBride

The Marine Corps has selected a classified weapon to deploy on a Shadow unmanned aerial system, Aviation Week reports.

The high-technology readiness weapon is expected to undergo field evaluation in Afghanistan on the AAI RQ-7B tactical drone.

The Marines are slowly working to declassify the weapon so they can more easily test and deploy it.

After an 18-month weaponization program, the Marines are expected to deploy two Shadow units for one year, according to Aviation Week.

Including Raytheon, several companies vied for the Marine Corps’ requirement of small precision-guided weapons.

Aside from the weapon, Shadow is expected to receive additional upgrades and payloads including a signals-intelligence system and a synthetic-aperture radar.

The Shadow’s engines are also being replaced after enduring bearing failures in Afghanistan due to high temperatures, Aviation Week reports.

The Marines are expected to make a final decision on Shadow this month.

U.S. Special Operations Command and the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization examined the system last January.

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