A Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) has been deployed to Afghanistan since August last year and a second will be delivered to Australian troops preparing to deploy, almost one year ahead of schedule, Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced today.
Purchased through the United States Foreign Military Sales program, the second Shadow 200 system was originally scheduled to be delivered in the first half of 2013, but will now arrive in the first half of this year.
The two Shadow 200 systems are being acquired through Joint Project 129 Phase 2 at a total cost of over $90 million. Each system comprises five aircraft, ground control stations, a launch and recovery element, and associated equipment, logistics and training.
The first Shadow 200 system is currently operating in Afghanistan and will be certified as fully operational in the near future. It has already completed more than 220 hours of successful testing and training.
The Shadow 200 system captures full motion video during both day and night operations which can be sent back to a ground control station up to 125km away. It can recognise targets on the ground while operating at an altitude of up to 8000ft.