A drone operated by a Joint Base Lewis-McChord unit disappeared this week after losing contact with ground controllers and is thought to have crashed in southern Arizona, the U.S. Army reported.
The unmanned aircraft, a $1.5 million Shadow RQ-7Bv2, “lost connectivity with the ground station” about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday during a training mission at Fort Huachuca.
The facility is in Cochise County, about 15 miles north of the Mexican border.
The Shadow, a short-range reconnaissance aircraft, was being operated by the 14th Engineer Battalion, which is part of the JBLM-based 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division.
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The aircraft weighs about 450 pounds and can fly a distance of about 125 kilometers, according to the Army.
A search by military personnel and state and local authorities turned up nothing. The Army speculated the aircraft crashed and “disintegrated upon impact somewhere in the local area.”
“We’re exhausting all efforts to recover the Shadow UAS and appreciate all the support we’ve received from Fort Huachuca experts and the surrounding community agencies,” 7th Infantry Division spokesman Lt. Col. Fredrick Williams said in a statement. “The cause of the incident is still under investigation.”