QinetiQ, a defence technology company, is set to provide the US Army’s Threat Systems Management Office (TSMO) with a specially developed version of its Banshee Jet 80+ target system

QinetiQ Target Systems, a division of QinetiQ, has designed and manufactured the MQM-185B aerial target, incorporating the technology and advanced options required by the TSMO.

This unique capability has been optimised exclusively for the US Army, making the Banshee compatible with the TSMO’s proprietary Army Ground Aerial Target Control System (AGATCS).

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With a global presence spanning over 40 countries, the Banshee Jet 80+ has been utilised in various military exercises, including launches from the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier.

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Its versatility allows for accurate drills simulating threats such as cruise missiles and fast enemy jets, replicating real-world scenarios that soldiers may encounter during missions.

On the same day, the British Navy also were delivered Banshee Jet 80+ drones, which they hope to conduct flight tests on in the summer of this year. 

According to GlobalData’s “The Global Military UAV Market 2022-2032” report, In the Asia-Pacific, Japan has procured Banshee Jet 80+ target UAVs as part of a wider unmanned aerial target services contract. 

QinetiQ will provide the Banshee Jet 80+ target UAVs to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) for training its anti-aircraft systems. It is expected that the JGSDF will start operating the aerial targets from 2023 onwards to sharpen its anti-aircraft firing training.

The MQM-185B aerial target boasts a maximum altitude of 30,000 feet and can perform low-level sea skimming and terrain following, providing a highly realistic adversary for training purposes. This will enable the US Army and its allies to improve their defence capabilities and effectively counter various threats.

Using drone targets, like the Banshee Jet 80+, has become increasingly vital in enhancing military training and preparedness. The MQM-185B will enable the US Army to hone their skills, test their systems, and develop effective countermeasures in a controlled and realistic environment by emulating various 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. We’re delighted to be supporting the US Army as it strengthens its training and Test and Evaluation capabilities.”

As global security challenges continue to evolve, investments in advanced training technologies like the Banshee Jet 80+ will play a role in maintaining military readiness and enhancing defence capabilities.

QinetiQ’s innovative target system is set to contribute to the US Army’s mission readiness, ensuring soldiers are well-prepared to face emerging threats on the battlefield.

QinetiQ announced a record full-year order volume of $1.7bn, exceeding market expectations for FY23.