Boeing’s Australian subsidiary named its new uncrewed combat aerial vehicle, officially dubbing it the MQ-28A “Ghost Bat.”
The Boeing MQ-28 Ghost Bat, previously known as the Boeing Airpower Teaming System (ATS) and the Loyal Wingman project, is a stealth, multi-role, unmanned aerial vehicle in development by Boeing Australia for the Royal Australian Air Force.
Australia’s Defence Minister, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, announced the designator and name at a dedicated ceremony held at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland.
“The introduction of the new popular name is a rare and special moment in aviation history for our RAAF partners and industry team of over 35 Australian suppliers,” said Glen Ferguson, director Airpower Teaming System Australia and International.
“Selecting the Ghost Bat, an Australian native mammal known for teaming together in a pack to detect and hunt, reflects the unique characteristics of the aircraft’s sensors and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance abilities, and is a fitting name for this pioneering capability,” said Ferguson.
Boeing Australia says the ghost bat’s natural sensors and cooperative hunting ability is similar to the Ghost Bat drone’s method of operation.
The drone could also escort high-value targets like tankers and aerial command-and-control aircraft, intercepting threats and allowing the larger, more important, crewed plane to make an escape.
Ghost Bat’s military designation is MQ-28A. In U.S. military parlance, “M” traditionally stands for “multi-mission,” while “Q” stands for “drone.” Hence, “multi-mission drone.”
The -28A designation follows the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25A Stingray aerial refueling and surveillance drone.