Composite Engineering BQM-167 Skeeter
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 has replaced the Beechcraft MQM-107 Streaker (aka Kalkara in Australia).
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.
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 USD$570,000.
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.
The USAF has had 37 in inventory.
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. 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. In May 2017, the UTAP-22 received the official name Mako. The aircraft costs between $2-$3 million.
- Crew: None
- Length: 20 feet (6.1 meters)
- Wingspan: 10.5 ft (3.2 m)
- Height: 4 ft (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)
- Maximum speed: 0.93 Mach (600 kt (sea level))
- Cruise speed: 230 kt (sea level)
- Service ceiling: 50,000 ft MSL (15,000 m) 50 ft AGL min. / 8m min.
9 G turns; recovered by a parachute recovery system either from land or water
IR and RF Tow Targets; IR and RF Wing Pods; Chaff / Flare Dispensing; Vector & Scalar Scoring
- BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target, USAF, 2009-05-20, accessed 2017-02-23
- BQM-167A brochure, KratosUSD, accessed 2017-02-23
- Kratos Completes Second Flight of Tactical Unmanned Aircraft - Ainonline.com, 9 December 2015
- Kratos breaking into the unmanned combat air vehicle market - Flightglobal.com, 5 May 2016
- Kratos gets green light to market potentially-armed Mako ‘loyal wingman’ drone to allies. Defense News. 1 May 2018.
- USAF Research Lab Has Released This Image Of Its Low-Cost Stealthy Drone - Thedrive.com, 19 May 2017
- Kratos’ Mako drone approved for sale to foreign militaries. Flight International. 15 March 2018.
- BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target, Kratos, accessed 2018-08-08
- Kratos Unmanned Systems Division - BQM-167I
- BQM-167I brochure, KratosUSD, accessed 2017-02-23