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NV-144R / Beech BQM-126A

The BQM-126A target drone was developed by the U.S. company Beechcraft in the 1970s. Like the Iranian unmanned plane, the BQM-126 was powered by an expendable turbojet engine, developing thrust around 4 kN. (Iran's Tolloue 5 turbojet engine, rated at 4.4kN is in production powering some of the country's long range anti-ship missile program.) The fully loaded BQM-126 weighed about 0.6 tons and offered mission endurance over two hours. Its top speed was 950 kph, with service ceiling at 40,000 ft. It had a wingspan of 3 meters and length of 5.51 meters. This target plane also influenced the South African Skua target drone, developed by Denel. Skua Karrar is believed to be shorter (around 4.meter long), and, carrying less fuel, its useful payload can be increased to around 700 kg. Its cruising speed is 900 kph.

The Beech BQM-126A target drone first flew in 1984. Although the USNavy planned to order 700 units, the entire project was eventually cancelled and never went into production. Although the Pioneer. NV-144R, and the BQM-126A appeared to be excellent choices, their greatest limitations was the need for ship-board launch/recovery systems which represented costs in system acquisition, ship space, and laUnch/recovery maintenance space, personnel, and parts.

In 1983, the US Navy began to consider replacing its targets with BQM-34 Firebee and MQM / BQM-74 Chukar. At the time, the designation YBQM-126A was reserved for this purpose. Beechcraft offered its target Model 997, a derivative of the MQM-107 Streaker family. Model 997 first took to the air in March 1984 and in 1985 the company signed a contract for full-scale development.

The BQM-126A was externally very similar to the MQM-107D Streaker, except that it had a double tail unit. This was done in order to reduce the height of the drone and to simplify the suspension under the aircraft for air starts. The drone BQM-126A was equipped with a TRT Microturbo TRI 60-3 Model 097 (J403-MT-400). With the help of a solid-fuel rocket accelerator, the target could also be launched from the ground and from ships, back to earth or water, it fell on the dome. On board was a digital autopilot and a system for receiving radio control commands.

The US Navy initially wanted to buy up to 700 BQM-126A. Nevertheless, the entire program was canceled, presumably because of a lack of funds.

Name of RFV BQM-126A
Manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corpcration
Cost Unknown
Mission Designed as high-speed target
Length 5.52 meters (18.1 feet);
wing span 3.05 meters (10 feet)
Launch Rocket booster assisted take-off, or air launched
Recovery Parachute recovery
Sensors Martin Marietta as prime contractor would ensure that the BQM-126A met the Navy's mid-range RPV program requirements.
Range Unknown
Ceiling 40,000 feet
Maximum speed 670kts
Endurance 16.6-96 minutes depending on speed;
payload 45.5kg (100 pounds) internal, or 91kg (200 pounds) external
Communications Not yet defined
Navigation system Can be preprogrammed or controlled by the 9round station
Survivability Unknown; this vehicle was designed for PIsting, evaluating, and assessing antiair weapons systems

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