AUVSI: Boeing displays vision for MQ-9 Reaper replacement

WEBSTER FIELD — Boeing kindly rendered a reconnaissance by this reporter to a sweltering southern-Maryland swamp — er, UAV demonstration area — worthwhile by offering this peak at their strategy for the US Air Force’s MQ-X contract. I expect to hear more tomorrow about Boeing’s plans for this MQ-9 replacement concept at the AUVSI convention. For now, we just have this picture.

For the visitors on this site familiar with British vulgarity (you know who you are), Boeing also had a treat for you, too. You may remember that the BellBoeing V-22 program at the 2007 Paris Air Show unveiled the Totally Organic Sensor System, delighting British-accented crowds with the apparently unintentinonal and unfortunate acronym. Well, Boeing has managed to find a completely different system to call a TOSS. See below.


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11 Responses to AUVSI: Boeing displays vision for MQ-9 Reaper replacement

  1. Sven Ortmann 11 August, 2009 at 1:08 am #

    That MQ-X graphic looks like the many other typical “radar stealth” drones of the past few years.

    That’s a bit surprising to me, as I recall having seen parts of the tender – and the tender didn’t call for much survivability in medium threat situations and for none in high threat situations (or similar – memories are tricky).

    “UAV demonstration area”

    So you didn’t buy into the new nomenclature (it’s now systems, not vehicles) yet?
    I prefer the old (and now international) term “UAV” as well. “Aerial drone” even better, but the “Ae” in it is too tricky for many people.

  2. Cod 11 August, 2009 at 1:18 am #

    Looks a lot like a tailess Predator C

  3. Mike 11 August, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    When I was a teen I used to work as a counselor at a YMCA camp right on the Patuxent River in southern Md. We were on an 800 acre peninsula surrounded by tidal marshes.

    As you say, it could be sweltering hot there in mid-summer. In the mornings, though, it was really beautiful. And far from stinking, there was always a fresh sea smell to the air that seemed to be carried on the breeze up the Patuxent.

    I took many kids canoeing through the channels in those marshes, which were narrow but deep. You could touch the mud with a paddle at arms length to either side, but could not tough the bottom of the channel if you held your paddle straight down and pushed your arm in to your shoulder.

    I have memories of great blue herons perched on logs taking flight right over our heads as we startled them canoeing around a bend, birds with wingspans that must have been six or seven feet and indigo blue plumage.

    It was the kind of place where four foot black snakes sunned in the grass, green snakes hung out of trees, water moccasins swam past your canoe, humming birds fed on mimosa tree flowers, brilliant orange tiger moths fluttered around and the mosquitoes could eat you alive late at night.

  4. atacms 11 August, 2009 at 1:31 pm #


    Any info on the TOSS? Is it just a souped up mini-UAV like the Scaneagle, but with longer duration?

    It actually bears a striking resemblance to Aerovironment’s Switchblade, no?

  5. Stephen Trimble 11 August, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    The TOSS is actually the Dominator UAV that Boeing first developed under an AFRL program five or six years ago. I don’t know why Boeing insists on calling it Scan Eagle Compressed Coverage, as their is no common heritage between ScanEagle and Dominator whatsoever. It’s a bit annoying actually.

  6. atacms 11 August, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    Ahh, thanks Stephen. I recall the Dominator UAV. It was meant to be quite a nifty attack UAV that could swarm on the battlefield.

    It’s about time we got swarming technology out there. Hopefully the USAF goes for it and doesn’t sit on it like they did with the LOCAAS. Who knows how far ahead we’d be if they had made the LOCAAS a program of record!

  7. Obamanite 11 August, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Hey, Mike, are you a writer? If not, you should be. Odd place to find fine literature, but your description was, well, beautiful. Don’t know how it’s related to the discussion, but I did enjoy reading it very much. Cheers.

  8. Mike 14 August, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    “Hey, Mike, are you a writer? If not, you should be. Odd place to find fine literature, but your description was, well, beautiful. Don’t know how it’s related to the discussion…”

    It’s related in that Stephen was describing the marsh lands where the testing was done. It’s an adjunct to PAX River, NAS. The YMCA camp (now long gone to housing) I was at on the Patuxent River was not too far from there.

    That whole area along the Chesapeake Bay and some way up along many of the tributary rivers (the Patuxent, the Choptank, etc) is lined with tidal marshes, many of which are now state or national wildlife refuges and protected wetlands. Being deep inside them is like being in The Land That Time Forgot. No alligators though, so they’re relatively safe as long as you avoid copper heads and water moccasins.

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