Australia — Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aerial System commences Afghan operations

The Shad­ow 200 Tac­ti­cal Unmanned Aer­i­al Sys­tem (TUAS) has offi­cial­ly com­menced oper­a­tions in Afghanistan, pro­vid­ing an enhanced capa­bil­i­ty to the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force.

The Shad­ow 200 TUAS is designed to con­duct Intel­li­gence, Sur­veil­lance, Tar­get Acqui­si­tion and Recon­nais­sance (ISTAR) oper­a­tional sup­port, enhanc­ing the deci­sion cycle of the sup­port force ele­ment, through the employ­ment of its sen­sors.

The Shad­ow 200 TUAS replaces the ScanEa­gle which has been in oper­a­tion since mid 2007.

Chief of Joint Oper­a­tions, Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Ash Pow­er said the ScanEa­gle has pro­vid­ed con­stant intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance, and recon­nais­sance sup­port to ground ele­ments 24/7 for near­ly five years.

“Dur­ing that time the ScanEa­gle has made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the force pro­tec­tion and sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness of the Coali­tion Force sol­dier on the ground,” Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Pow­er said.

“This was an aver­age of 22 hours per day over the four years and 10 month peri­od — a tremen­dous effort. Approx­i­mate­ly 180 ADF per­son­nel deployed in sup­port of ScanEa­gle, with the bulk from 20th Sur­veil­lance and Tar­get Acqui­si­tion Reg­i­ment. Oth­er con­tribut­ing units include 16 Air Defence Reg­i­ment, Defence Imagery and Geospa­tial Organ­i­sa­tion, 1st Topo­graph­i­cal Sur­vey Squadron and 16 Avi­a­tion Brigade.

“ScanEa­gle has been the vehi­cle for the Aus­tralian Army to devel­op its Unmanned Aer­i­al Vehi­cle (UAV) capa­bil­i­ty and the Army is now tak­ing the next step by employ­ing the Shad­ow 200 TUAS,” Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Pow­er added.

Since being deployed to Afghanistan mid 2007 the ScanEa­gle has flown approx­i­mate­ly 32,000 hours in Afghanistan and over 6,200 mis­sions in sup­port of the Recon­struc­tion Task Force, Men­tor­ing and Recon­struc­tion Task Force, Men­tor­ing Task Force, Com­bined Team — Uruz­gan and the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia