UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


MQ-17 SpyHawk

There have been a considerable numbers of other US UAV designs that have been sold in modest numbers, went into limbo, or were complete dead ends. It can be a little difficult to figure out the precise status of some of these machines but clearly most of them have not caught on. The XMQ-17A ("SpyHawk") was an unmanned aerial vehicle built and developed by MTC Technologies which was intended to be used by the US Marine Corps. With infrared cameras and laser sighting, the drone should support ground forces in the tactical battlefield reconnaissance. Launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic launcher, the aircraft was powered by a single Honda GX-57 gasoline-fueled piston engine.

The XMQ-17A was based on the T-15/T-16 family of UAVs developed by Arcturus UAV. On 07 November 2006 MTC Technologies, Inc. and subsidiaries, a significant provider of engineering, information technology, and other technical solutions to the Department of Defense and national security agencies, announced today that the Company was selected to demonstrate a concept for the U.S. Marine Corps Tier II tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program. The twelve-month, competitively awarded, Firm Fixed Price contract had a basic value of $3 million. Issued on behalf of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL), the contract may be augmented with additional options after the lab gains experience with the weapon system.

The MCWL Tier II UAS Concept Demonstrator was expected to fly some 300 hours each month serving as a test bed for new technologies and for performing concept-based experimentation, to include the development and verification of tactics, techniques, and procedures. The flights were conducted at either Quantico, Virginia or Patuxent River Navy Air Station, Maryland. MTC’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems office and its teammates provided a unique cost-effective UAS surveillance solution with military and commercial applications. MTC’s “SpyHawk” UAS was designed to be a multi-mission system providing continuous day/night visual coverage of long tract or high value assets, including military Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) and civil pipeline monitoring. Such integrated threat detection and tracking capability will offer warfighter and security teams increased situational awareness with a continuous 12-hour mission endurance.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to demonstrate to a new customer -- MTC’s capability to offer turnkey, state of the art, UAS technical products and services that include a custom designed system consisting of an unmanned vehicle, sensor suite, and integrated ground station, along with all necessary operations, engineering, maintenance, and logistics support,” said David S. Gutridge, MTC Chief Executive Officer. “We anticipate that the successful completion of this demonstration project will result in significant upside potential for the Company.”

MTC, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, delivered warfighter solutions involving systems engineering, information technology, intelligence, and program management services primarily to the Department of Defense. Cited by Forbes as #54 of America's 200 best small businesses, by Washington Technology as 34th in revenue growth among the "Top 100" of IT Federal Prime Contractors, and ranked 2nd by Aviation Week & Space Technology as a "Top Performing Small Company," MTC employed approximately 2,900 people in more than 40 locations. The company was founded in 1984 and was headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.

After the first flight of the prototype failed in mid-2007, the program was discontinued at the end of the same year. The decision to terminate the XMQ-17A evaluation was taken in late 2007, when MTC Technologies' acquisition by BAE Systems was negotiated. In January 2008, MTC announced that it has entered a cancellation agreement with the Marine Corps, and that it would return all performance-based fees to the USMC. The SpyHawk UAS clearly failed in the demonstrations conducted thus far.

On June 09, 2008 BAE Systems completed its acquisition of MTC Technologies, Inc. (MTC Technologies), a Dayton, Ohio-based company providing technical and professional services as well as equipment integration and modernization for the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, after receiving all required shareholder and regulatory approvals. The company announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MTC Technologies on December 24, 2007 in a transaction valued at approximately $450 million. MTC Technologies and its people became part of BAE Systems’ Customer Solutions operating group, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, as part of the company’s Technology Solutions & Services (TSS) line of business.

There is something a bit strange about this "program" which from the outset was intended to produce a single prototype air vehicle. The project does not seem to have been "cancelled" - rather, from the outset it was planned to last for one year, and when the year ended, so di the project. MTC Techologies had no apparent expertise in the UAV field, and this project was a complete departure from their prior produce lines. There is something strange about this project, though what is not entirely clear. Possibly this was an effor to surface a previously covert program??

Crew 0 (UAV)
Wingspan 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Gross weight 85 lb (39 kg)
Maximum speed 103 mph (167 km/h)
Cruise speed 52 mph (83 km/h)
Range 50 miles (90 km)
Endurance 16 hours
Service ceiling 15,000 ft (4500 m)

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 14-01-2018 18:55:54 ZULU