QinetiQ is to provide the US Army’s Threat Systems Management Office (TSMO) with a uniquely developed version of its Banshee Jet 80+. Known as the MQM-185B, the target will help the US Army train for real-world scenarios by flying the hyper realistic threat targets. The MQM-185B aerial target combines QinetiQ’s innovative technology with the advanced options required by the US Army’s TSMO to deliver a capability uniquely optimised for the US Army. As a result, the Banshee will be compatible with the Threat Systems Management Office’s proprietary Army Ground Aerial Target Control System (AGATCS).
Flown in over 40 countries and used during exercises launched from the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier, the Banshee Jet 80+ provides the opportunity to run accurate drills by emulating cruise missiles and enemy fast jets which may be faced on mission. The MQM-185B has a maximum altitude of 30,000ft and can also perform low level sea skimming and terrain following, delivering a realistic adversary to train against. The use of the drone targets will be key to the US Army and their allies in improving their defence capabilities as the Banshee is able to emulate a wide variety of in-theatre threats.
Ryan Peterson, Customer Account Manager, QinetiQ Target Systems, said: “Using highly accurate targets such as the Banshee is becoming a necessity for our defence customers. As the threat environment increases in complexity, organisations such as TSMO are seeking technology capable of delivering complex training and evaluation exercises. The MQM-185B, combined with QinetiQ’s engineering and operational flexibility, enables us to deliver a customised platform that satisfies TSMO requirements and makes its operations more agile and cost effective. We’re delighted to be supporting the US Army as it strengthens its training and Test and Evaluation capabilities.”
Following the successful introduction of the Banshee Jet 80 in 2014, the Banshee Jet 80+ offers customers the opportunity to reach speeds of 200 metres/second with endurances exceeding 40 minutes. The current version is fitted with twin 45kg thrust gas turbine engines giving a total of 90kg of static thrust. This offers an increase in the maximum straight and level airspeed of up to 200metres/second. The use of an auxiliary fuel tank ensures that endurance is similar to that of the single engine version with a typical mixed throttle mission time in excess of 45 minutes. When fitted with the patented Hot Nose the target provides a forward and side-looking IR source with output in Bands I, II and III, whilst the jet engines provide a realistic rearward looking IR signature.