MQR-16 Gunrunner


The MQR-16A Gunrunner was an unguided rocket developed by Atlantic Research during the 1960s. Designed with low cost as a priority, the MQR-16A was intended to act as a target drone for use in the development of man-portable surface-to-air missiles, and as a training target for the missile operators. Proving successful, the rocket served in the United States military until the 1980s.

MQR-16 Gunrunner
MQR-16A Gunrunner.jpg
TypeTarget drone
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1969-1980s
Used byUnited States Army, United States Navy
Production history
ManufacturerAtlantic Research
Mass290 pounds (130 kg)
Length16 feet (4.9 m)
Diameter20 inches (510 mm)

EngineBooster, HVAR rocket; 5,800 lbf (26 kN)
Sustainer, 10KS300 rocket, 290 lbf (1.3 kN)
Propellantsolid fuel
3 miles (4.8 km)
Boost time10.86 sec
Maximum speed 575 mph (925 km/h)
Triple launcher

Design and developmentEdit

Developed in the late 1960s, the Gunrunner was designed as an inexpensive aerial target, unguided and flying on a ballistic path, for use by the United States Army and United States Navy during the development and testing of the FIM-43 Redeye man-portable surface-to-air missile.[1]

The design and construction of the Gunrunner was kept as simple as possible, with the rocket's stabilizing fins using plywood in their construction, and the solid-fueled powerplant being that of the reliable and widely used High Velocity Aerial Rocket (HVAR).[2] The nose of the rocket was equipped with an infrared enhancer to allow for all-aspect target acquisition by the missile that was engaging the target.[2]

Operational historyEdit

Entering operational service in 1969, the Gunrunner was given the official designation of MQR-16A in 1971, and proved to be a success in service.[2] Used for training soldiers in the operation of both the Redeye and the MIM-72 Chaparral SAMs,[3] the missile was launched from a frame-type launcher that carried three missiles.[2] Remaining in service until the mid-1980s,[2] the Gunrunner was replaced in U.S. Army service by the MTR-15 BATS.[4]



  1. ^ Morison 1975, p. 218.
  2. ^ a b c d e Parsch 2002
  3. ^ Parsch 2009
  4. ^ Goebel 2010


  • Goebel, Greg (2010). "Modern US Target Drones". Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  • Morison, Samuel L. (1975). The Ships & Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-639-8.
  • Parsch, Andreas (2002). "Atlantic Research MQR-16 Gunrunner". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  • Parsch, Andreas (2009). "Current Designations of U.S. Unmanned Military Aerospace Vehicles". Retrieved 2011-01-05.