Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 4 has launched the final flight of an AAI-built unmanned aircraft system during the Exercise Steel Knight event in Twentynine Palms, California.
The Marine Corps said Wednesday the RQ-7B Shadow UAS, which has been in service for more than five years, will be phased out and succeeded by the RQ-21A Blackjack system.
“The flight was our last of the evolution for Steel Knight and also our last Shadow flight in the Marine Corps,” said Capt. Shanna Ream, operations officer for VMU-4 within the Marine Aircraft Group 41 of the Marine Forces Reserve’s 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.
The annual Steel Knight exercise showcases the combined capacities of air and ground assets which will demonstrate various military strategies for ground fires, command and control as well as maneuver warfare tactics.