Boeing’s Loyal Wingman designated MQ-28A Ghost Bat

Australia's Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton, announced on March 20 during a ceremony at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley, Queensland, that the Australian-built Boeing Air Power Teaming System/Loyal Wingman uncrewed combat air vehicle has been officially designated the MQ-28A Ghost Bat. Dutton also said that it had successfully completed its three test flight series.

MQ-28A Ghost Bat
Boeing's Airpower Teaming System/Loyan Wingman first prototype during its maiden flight from RAAF Base Woomera, South Australia, on February 27, 2021. It has now been officially designated the MQ-28A Ghost Bat Commonwealth of Australia/Cpl Craig Barrett

RAAF Head of Air Force Capability, Air Vice-Marshal Robert Denney, said that “this unique name aligns well with the intent of the aircraft. Ghost Bat reflects the intended mission and operational capabilities of the aircraft. A ghost bat is an Australian hunter which uses sophisticated multi-spectral sensors to detect, hunt and kill prey both in the air and on the ground. They team together in large numbers to confuse and overwhelm their adversaries and are native to Australia.”

While the RAAF Loyal Wingman development program name will phase out in favour of the MQ-28A designation, Boeing’s product name for global customers will remain the Airpower Teaming System. During 2022, the program will continue to accelerate the development and testing of the MQ-28A Ghost Bat, with a focus on sensor and missionisation capabilities to deliver on RAAF commitments. These requirements will continue to expand as Boeing moves towards the aim of delivering an operational capability for the ADF.