The MQ-28A is the first combat aircraft produced in Australia in over 50 years.
Boeing announced the name of its newest combat drone on Monday: the MQ-28A Ghost Bat. The drone, which is being produced in Australia, utilizes artificial intelligence and is part of what was previously known as the Loyal Wingman project—an initiative to give fighter pilots an uncrewed partner in the sky.
“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,” Glen Ferguson, director at Australia’s Boeing Airpower Teaming System, said in a statement on Boeing’s website.
“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,” Ferguson said.
This new generation of drones is intended to fly alongside crewed fighter jets and assist in everything from jamming radar to conducting surveillance to firing on targets.
The Ghost Bat is the first combat aircraft to be manufactured in Australia in over 50 years. Australian politicians have grown more hawkish in recent years as they confront an increasingly hostile China.