It may sound like the latest accessory in Batman’s arsenal, but Ghost Bat is actually Boeing’s newly-developed weapon.
MQ-28A Ghost Bat is the name of the first combat aircraft to be manufactured in Australia in more than half a century. It was crafted by the Boeing team as part of what used to be known as the Loyal Wingman project.
In other words, it’s an unmanned, AI companion for fighter pilots.
“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.” Glen Ferguson, director at Australia’s Boeing Airpower Teaming System, said in a statement on Boeing’s website.
Ghost Bat’s reason to be is to assist fighter jets with jamming radar, surveillance or even firing on targets.
“This new capability allows us to introduce more mass into the battlespace. An adversarial aircraft would not only have to contend with our crewed capability, but also numbers of uncrewed aircraft such as the MQ-28A Ghost Bat,” Australian Defense Minister Dutton said.
He added that, during the three test flights they’ve planned so far, the combat drone behaved as expected. Dutton is hopeful that with its 3,700km range it can help them stop an adversary from greater distance.