Defending F-35 Jets & Super Hornets, Meet MQ-28A ‘Ghost Bat’ – The 1st Australian-Produced Aircraft In Over 50 Year
Speaking at an event at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, on March 21, Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton announced the selection of ‘MQ-28A Ghost Bat’ as the military designator. It will be the first Australian-produced military combat aircraft in over 50 years.
The ghost bat is an Australian native mammal known for hunting and detecting prey in a group. The drone, which was first unveiled in May 2020, is being developed, designed, and manufactured in the country.
The ‘Loyal Wingman’ aircraft uses artificial intelligence to assist both manned and unmanned aircraft in mid-flight.
The under-development combat drone had its maiden flight in March 2021 after a series of high-speed taxi tests. Last September, Boeing chose Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport (WTB) in South Australia as the location for the production plant.
The Ghost Bat’s fast development owes greatly to Boeing Australia’s use of digital engineering and sophisticated production techniques, which took only three years from first design to first flight, the company said in a press release.