Looking Ahead to MQ-X

Future remotely piloted aircraft, like the Air Force’s MQ-X concept, not only need to have jam-resistant signals, authentication, and inscription capabilities, they also must possess additional features to operate in contested airspace that today’s MQ-9 Reapers and MQ-1 Predators lack, said Col. James Gear, head of USAF’s RPA task force. “MQ-X is still a very important capability and it’s a requirement that continues to work,” said Gear Wednesday at the AUVSI symposium in Washington, D.C. MQ-X also needs to have robust and agile communications, be weather tolerant, and be modular and upgradeable, with mission sets for intelligence-reconnaissance-surveillance and strike, he said. (For more on MQ-X, see The RPA Boom from Air Force Magazine’s 2010 archives)