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"Okay, these guys are definitely a step above the last drones we came across."
Clown[1]

The MQ-101[2] is an unmanned combat aircraft. It features a folded wing design and has incredibly high maneuverability. The Arsenal Bird, a large aerial warship, can carry up to 80 of them at one time.[3]

Design

The MQ-101 is a tailless flying wing, utilizing a wide, flat blended wing design to achieve lift despite its relatively smaller winglets. The winglets themselves can fold for storage (most notably when being carried by an Arsenal Bird) and are downturned slightly at the tips. When being transported by an Arsenal Bird, the drone is carried inverted on the underside of the carrier, and are launched by being released from its berth, falling for a short distance before rolling right-side up and extending its wings for flight.

The drone's primary armament appears to consist of a single cannon and an internal weapons bay to hold an assortment of payloads, most commonly Sidewinder missiles for air-to-air combat.

The MQ-101 is highly agile, a feat assisted by its advanced microwave-powered engine which receives its power directly from the Arsenal Bird which carried it. If the connection is disrupted (for example, if the Arsenal Bird sustains damage and must shut down non-essential systems) then the drone will lose power and crash. The drones are also very fragile compared to traditional fighter aircraft; it only takes a single missile or a short burst of cannon fire to destroy them. Due to this, the MQ-101 relies on its superhuman agility and evasion tactics to avoid enemy fire.

History

Erusean operated MQ-101s saw action in the Lighthouse War, mostly to counter Osean sorties against the Erusean-held International Space Elevator and other Erusean territories.

The MQ-101 was first encountered by Trigger and IUN forces during Operation Dual Wielder above the Chopinburg Rainforest, when they were launched by the Arsenal Bird Liberty, which had been deployed to the region to prevent the Osean Air Defense Force from gaining air superiority over the region. The combination of the drones and the Arsenal Bird's APS system caused heavy casualties on IUN forces and forced them to withdraw.

During Operation Lighthouse Keeper, the ill-fated mission to rescue Vincent Harling, MQ-101s deployed by the Arsenal Bird Liberty swarmed the former president's V-22, causing confusion when a missile registered to Osean forces hit and destroyed it.

MQ-101s were deployed again by the Liberty to destroy the Stonehenge turret system during Operation Dragon Breath. Even though they outnumbered the Osean Long Range Strategic Strike Group, the drones were unable to prevent final Stonehenge gun from destroying the Liberty.

Their final observed deployment would be against the Osean-Erusean coalition during Operation Daredevil. The UCAVs were able to distract coalition planes while the Justice annihilated the coalition naval forces. However, sabotage of the Elevator by Rosa Cossette D'Elise caused the Justice's APS to fail, allowing the coalition to damage the Arsenal Bird and cause its control systems to fail. However, the crashing drones would cause heavy casualties among civilians sheltering at the base of the Elevator, notably claiming the life of Tabloid, a Spare Squadron pilot, and several other refugees.

Gallery

Trivia

References

  1. Two-pronged Strategy, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  2. File:Ace Combat 7 - VR Demo Gameplay.
  3. File:Ace Combat 7 - Announcement Trailer.
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