Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Copyright © 2008 Andreas Parsch

Griffon Aerospace MQM-171 Broadsword

The Griffon Aerospace Broadsword is a significantly enlarged derivative of the MQM-170A Outlaw aerial target UAV. It was developed primarily as a research and test vehicle to evaluate new sensors, payloads, propulsion systems and other UAV components. The U.S. Army has successfully evaluated the UAV as the YMQM-171A, and has now accepted the system as operational equipment.

Photo: Griffon Aerospace

The MQM-171A is very similar in general layout to the MQM-170 Outlaw. Like the latter, it can be launched from a pneumatic catapult and recovered by a skid landing, and can optionally be fitted with a tricycle landing gear for conventional landings. Operation with landing gear is considered standard procedure when the UAV is employed as a non-expendable research vehicle. Broadsword is equipped with mid-fuselage bays which can be configured as either payload bays or fuel tanks. Maximum payload capacity is about 54 kg (120 lb). The standard GCS (Ground Control Station) consists of one or more laptop computers with mission and status displays, and a telemetry suitcase with transceivers and data links. Flight control options are the same as for the Outlaw, i.e. either manual control or GPS-guided automatic flight path.

Photo: Griffon Aerospace

In U.S. Army service, the operational Broadsword systems (air vehicles to be designated MQM-171A) will be primarily used for RDT&E (Research, Development, Test and Evaluation) of new weapons systems.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for YMQM-171A:

Length4.51 m (14.8 ft)
Wingspan6.86 m (22.5 ft)
Weight250 kg (550 lb)
Speedmax: 202 km/h (126 mph); cruise: 138-166 km/h (86-103 mph)
Ceiling4300 m (14000 ft)
Endurance4-6 h
PropulsionPiston engine

Main Sources

[1] Griffon Aerospace Website

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Last Updated: 14 July 2008