Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 2: Modern UAVs
Copyright © 2024 Andreas Parsch

NASC RQ-23 TigerShark

NASC (Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation) developed the TigerShark in the early 2000's as a MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) multi-purpose UAV. It takes off and lands on a conventional runway, and has a payload capacity for various sorts of ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) equipment of 34 kg (75 lb).

Photo: Navy

In 2005, the Naval Air Systems Command undertook a Rapid Deployment Effort to fulfill an urgent operational need for a low-cost long-endurance unmanned ISR platform, and delivered TigerShark systems to the operational theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 onwards. Between 2006 and 2014, more than 10000 operational missions have been flown. In August 2013, the official designation RQ-23A was assigned to the TigerShark.

Photo: Cmdr. Victor Chen, US Navy

In early 2014, NASC received a Navy contract to improve the electro-optical sensor package and the airframe of the RQ-23A. By 2021, TigerShark UAVs were used at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground test center.

The current commercial version offered by NASC is the TigerShark-XP, which has improved flight performance, a SATCOM link, and more payload options.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for RQ-23A:

Length4.55 m (14.9 ft)
Wingspan6.7 m (22 ft)
Height1.0 m (3.4 ft)
Weightempty: 126 kg (278 lb); max: 205 kg (452 lb)
Speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Ceiling4270 m (14000 ft)
Range715 km (445 miles)
Endurance8-10 h
Propulsion1 Herbrandson 372cc two stroke piston engine, 23.5 kW (32 hp)

Main Sources

[1] Military Factory: NavMar TigerShark
[2] Navmar Gets $22M US Navy TigerShark Contract
[3] Tiger Shark UAV returns from mission
[4] John Keller: Navmar to upgrade TigerShark medium-endurance UAV with new sensors and airframe enhancements
[5] NASC: TigerShark-XP
[6] Colton Jones: Tigershark unmanned aircraft tested at U.S. Army’s premier test center

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 2

Last Updated: 14 January 2024