Hunt Valley, Md. (UPI) Jul 7, 2016 –

Textron's Shadow drone has surpassed 1 million total flight hours, becoming the only drone of its size to hit the milestone, the company announced Thursday.

More than 85 percent of those hours occurred during combat operations, Textron said in a statement.

Introduced in 1999, the Shadow has undergone various upgrades, including encrypted communications, increased bandwidth and onboard power that can support multiple payloads in a single sortie.

The Shadow is used by several U.S. forces, including the Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command.

Launched by trailer-mounted catapult, the drone is also used by the Italian, Swedish and Australian militaries, Textron said.

The drone's V2 model features a range of about 75 miles, a 9-hour endurance, a 20.4-foot wingspan and a 95-pound payload capacity.

The Army's Apache helicopters are also teaming with Shadows for armed aerial scouting missions.

The Shadow also rolled out its Fury lightweight precision weapon in 2015.


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