The MQ-101 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.
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 standard missiles for air-to-air combat.
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.
Following the capture of the control facilities of the Arsenal Birds during the Lighthouse War, Erusea gained control of both the Arsenal Birds and the MQ-101s they carried. Erusean-operated MQ-101s saw action 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 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 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 Arsenal Bird Justice annihilated the coalition naval forces. However, sabotage of the space elevator's power transmission by Rosa Cossette D'Elise caused Justice's APS to fail, allowing the coalition to destroy 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.
- The MQ-101 shares its design with the real-life Northrop Grumman X-47B, which is designed for aircraft carrier-based operations.
- The designation "MQ" comes from the United States military aircraft designation system, in which the letter 'M' stands for 'Multi-Mission' and 'Q' stands for 'Unmanned aerial vehicle.'