A sheriff’s department in Conroe, Texas has acquired an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is capable of carrying weapons, but sheriff’s officials say there are no plans to arm the UAV.
The Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff's Office has acquired a laptop-controlled Shadowhawk Helicopter—produced by Vanguard Defense Industries—which could be deployed in December 2011, say police officials.
The Shadowhawk is equipped with both a digital daytime camera and a forward-looking infrared imaging (FLIR) system and can provide daytime and nighttime support in a multitude of climatic conditions, Vanguard says.
The Shadowhawk—which is also used by the military—has a range of up to 25 miles, and is capable of carrying payloads that include weapons such as Tazers and a beanbag gun. The UAV weighs 50 pounds and can be transported in a sport utility vehicle to a designated area for launch, the company says. The system is intended to assist the county in a number of critical operations to include emergency management, search and rescue, and special operations, according to the firm.