The RQ-7A provides ground commanders the ability to "see first, understand first, and act first-decisively." The twin-boom pusher aircraft performs day or night reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and bomb damage assessment. It has nonretractable landing gear for conventional takeoff and landing, but it can also be launched by catapult and use a tail hook and arresting cables for a shorter landing.
A Shadow 200 system consists of four RQ-7As and two ground control stations, which transmit tactical reconnaissance imagery and telemetry data in near real time directly to combat command centers. The RQ-7A entered service with the U.S. Army in 2002 and flew its first mission over Baghdad in April 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Screamin' Demon flew with the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division and the 82nd Airborne Division. Its last combat flight in Iraq took place in 2005. It flew 124 missions totaling nearly 500 flight hours.