Composite Engineering BQM-167 Skeeter

Summary

BQM-167 Skeeter
Composite Engineering BQM-167 Skeeter.jpg
BQM-167 Skeeter target drone
Role Unmanned target drone
National origin United States
Manufacturer Composite Engineering Inc.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
Primary user United States Air Force
Number built 37[1]
Variants HESA Karrar

The Composite Engineering BQM-167 Skeeter is a subscale aerial target (drone) developed and manufactured by Composite Engineering Inc. (acquired by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions) and operated by the United States Air Force and certain international customer air forces (designation BQM-167i). It replaced the Beechcraft MQM-107 Streaker.

Design and development

The BQM-167 was developed and manufactured by Composite Engineering Inc. (now part of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions), and is constructed of carbon fiber and epoxy-based materials.[1][2]

Two prototype targets were built and test flown in 2001. The BQM-167A was selected as the next-generation Air Force subscale aerial target in July 2002. A total of six targets were built for use during the flight performance demonstration (FPD) phase with its first flight 8 December 2004. A total of 13 FPD launches were made into March 2006.[1]

First acceptance testing was completed in August 2006, then pre-operational testing consisted of 13 test flights using production targets from August 2006 - June 2007. The first BQM-167 air-to-air missile live-fire mission took place 7 February 2007. Initial Operational Capability was achieved in 2008. Each target cost US$570,000.[1]

Operational history

Subscale targets deploy for weapons system evaluations 150512-F-GF899-307.jpg

The 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron operates and maintains the target at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

The drone is land-launched using a rocket assisted takeoff and launched from a rail system, and recovered on land or sea using a parachute system. After assessment and refurbishment, the drone is placed back into service.[1]

The USAF has had 37 in inventory.[1]

On 19 March 2021, a BQM-167 washed ashore in Boynton Beach, Florida after a weapon systems evaluation. [3]

Variants

UTAP-22 Mako

Launch of a UTAP-22 tactical unmanned vehicle in April 2021

On 23 November 2015, Kratos completed the second flight of its self-funded Unmanned Tactical Aerial Platform (UTAP-22), a development of the BQM-167A converted into a low-cost unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). The test involved collaborative airborne operations with a manned AV-8B Harrier fighter for 94 minutes demonstrating command and control through a tactical data-link, autonomous formation flying with the AV-8B, and transfer of UTAP-22 control between operators in a tactical network and then to an independent control link.[4] The 6.1 m (21 ft)-long turbojet-powered aircraft can travel at Mach 0.91 (693 mph; 1,115 km/h) up to an altitude of 50,000 ft (15,000 m) with a maximum range of 1,400 nmi (1,600 mi; 2,600 km) and an endurance of three hours. It can carry a 159 kg (351 lb) internal payload, a 227 kg (500 lb) external payload, and has a 45 kg (99 lb)-capable weapon hardpoint on each wing. The platform is recoverable on land or at sea using a parachute system.[5][6] In May 2017, the UTAP-22 received the official name Mako.[7] The aircraft costs between $2-$3 million.[8]

Operators

 United States

Specifications

Data from

  • US Air Force - Fact Sheet, BQM-167A[1]
  • Kratos Unmanned Systems - Quick Facs, BQM-167A[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: 20 ft 0 in (6.1 m)
  • Wingspan: 10 ft 6 in (3.2 m)
  • Height: 4 ft 0 in (1.2 m)
  • Empty weight: 690 lb (313 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,050 lb (646 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × 1x MicroTurbo Tri 60-5+ turbojet, 990 lbf (4.4 kN) thrust

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 600 kn (690 mph, 1,100 km/h) (sea level)
  • Cruise speed: 230 kn (260 mph, 430 km/h) (sea level)
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m) MSL[clarification needed] 50 ft AGL min. / 8 m min.
    9 G turns; recovered by a parachute recovery system either from land or water

Avionics
IR and RF Tow Targets; IR and RF Wing Pods;[clarification needed] Chaff / Flare Dispensing; Vector & Scalar Scoring

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target, USAF, 2009-05-20, accessed 2017-02-23
  2. ^ BQM-167A brochure, KratosUSD, accessed 2017-02-23
  3. ^ "Military Drone Washed Ashore On Boynton Beach". CBS Miami. CBS Miami. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  4. ^ Kratos Completes Second Flight of Tactical Unmanned Aircraft - Ainonline.com, 9 December 2015
  5. ^ Kratos breaking into the unmanned combat air vehicle market - Flightglobal.com, 5 May 2016
  6. ^ Kratos gets green light to market potentially-armed Mako ‘loyal wingman’ drone to allies. Defense News. 1 May 2018.
  7. ^ USAF Research Lab Has Released This Image Of Its Low-Cost Stealthy Drone - Thedrive.com, 19 May 2017
  8. ^ Kratos’ Mako drone approved for sale to foreign militaries. Flight International. 15 March 2018.
  9. ^ BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target, Kratos, accessed 2018-08-08

External links

  • Kratos BQM-167 page
  • Kratos UTAP-22 Mako page