My Q-14 Theory

Bill Sweetman, the freshly-shaven editor of Defense Technology International, asks on the Ares (as in, the mythical God of War; not, as in, the NASA space vehicle) blog: what is the Q-14?

This is a good question. All unmanned aerial vehicles are designated by the letter "Q", as in RQ-1 Predator, RQ-5 Hunter, RQ-7 Shadow, MQ-9 Reaper … and so on. Sweetman has discovered that a new UAV designed by DRS Technologies has been christened the RQ-15. That leaves the existence of any vehicle called RQ-14 a mystery. Does it exist? Is it a classified project?

Sweetman hasn’t found the answer but he’s looking.

I don’t know the answer either, but I have a suggestion.

There happens to be a non-UAV system called the AN/ASQ-14 Advanced Sensor Distribution System. The Federation of American Scientists site calls it a "general-purpose, sensor distribution system that provides for the correlation, distribution and displaying of tactical data on a real-time basis". It’s operated by the navy.

I’m wondering if someone in the military wanted to avoid any confusion that may arise from having a navy sensor and a navy UAV both using variations of the desigation Q-14.

Any other theories?


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