“With precision strike accuracy, the Shadow Hawk is an ideal solution in urban environments where low collateral damage is essential.”
Lockheed Martin’s new Shadow Hawk weapon is deceptively small considering the influence it will likely have on warfare from this point forward. The era of unmanned warfare is about to go to a whole new level. The Shadow Hawk is an 11-pound class, 2.75-inch (7 cm) diameter, 27-inch (68 cm) long drop-glide munition released a mile or more above the target by the equally diminutive unmanned RQ-7B. It may not seem like a major leap forward in weapons technology but it most certainly is, because the Shadow Hawk munition now arms an entire fleet of RQ-7s for the US Marines and Army that could previously only be used for reconnaissance, and it does so with a much smaller and cheaper weapon.
The significance of this breakthrough is that precision-guided bombs can now be dropped at a lower cost than ever before – by using a far-more-plentiful, smaller, unmanned “delivery vehicle” and a much smaller and cheaper weapon.
The Shadow Hawk is guided to its target by a semi-active laser seeker of astonishing accuracy. In the first public test, the Shadow Hawk was dropped by an RQ-7 from a mile high and it hit the target at a speed of 500 km/h (311 mph) just EIGHT INCHES (20 cm) from dead center. In real life, not to put too graphic a point on it, it would then explode.
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