Boeing, the Australian Government and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) recently announced that they have selected a new official designation for the stealth jet drone with artificial intelligence, which they are developing together.
This drone was originally known as the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Then he gained notoriety as the Loyal Wingman project. The final version of the drone name is Boeing MQ-28 Ghost Bat.
The announcement of the new name was part of a ceremony held at Amberley Royal Australian Air Force Base in Queensland, Australia. At first glance, it is not entirely clear why so much fuss over the official name for the new drone. This is a very important event for the RAAF and the whole of Australia.
This is the first time in more than 50 years that they have developed and named a new fighter aircraft in Australia. The official name also means that the drone has had an experimental phase. He now has to work in the RAAF, as well as export abroad.
Why Ghost Bat?
The development of the Ghost Bat drone is very fast. It took only three years from the first design to take off. Boeing Australia used digital engineering and advanced manufacturing processes. When joining the Air Force, Ghost Bat will have capabilities comparable to people piloted by jet fighters without endangering the human crew.
It is used on single aircraft missions and in operations of multiple aircraft, either autonomous or with people on board. Ghost Bat is not quite finished yet. In 2022, its development and testing will continue, especially in terms of sensors and mission-related technologies, to meet the requirements of the RAAF.
Why “Ghost Bat”? It is the English name of a remarkable bat from tropical, ie northern Australia, which in Czech is called the Australian megaderma (Macroderma gigas). It is one of the largest bats ever, with wings spanning almost half a meter.
Megaderma is very noticeable with large ears and growths on the nose, which give it a somewhat demonic appearance. Glen Ferguson, director of Airpower Teaming System Australia and International, justified the choice by saying that megaderma, one of the few native Australian mammals, tends to search for prey and hunt in flocks, which connects it to this drone.