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Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw

United States (2004)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw Target Drone / ISR / Trainer UAV.

 Entry last updated on 3/21/2018; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw  
Picture of Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw Target Drone / ISR / Trainer UAV
Picture of Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw Target Drone / ISR / Trainer UAV

Introduced in 2004, the Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw fulfills a variety of roles for the U.S. military including that of target drone and UAV training.

Developed as a low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for military applications, the Griffon Aerospace MQM-170A "Outlaw" serves the United States Army and Navy in air defense training. Griffon Aerospace was founded in 1993 out of Madison, Alabama by aerospace engineer Larry French. French began the company after finding success in developing a six-person, single engine biplane aircraft (the "Lionheart") as a private venture. Sales of this product eventually led French to enter the UAV realm.

The Outlaw was introduced in July of 2004 and has been in production since - totals surpassing the 3,000 unit mark in 2012.

The Outlaw utilizes a largely conventional aircraft layout that includes a slender fuselage, straight monoplane wings, and a "Vee" tail unit. The fuselage contains the avionics suite, mission kit, fuel stores, and powerplant. The Vee tail sports a pair of outward-canted vertical fins. As with other prop-driven UAVs, Outlaw is arranged with its two-blade propeller unit in a "pusher" configuration driving the aircraft through the air. Power is from a single 3W Model 150i two-cylinder, two-stroke piston engine developing 17 horsepower.
Typically launched by way of a pneumatic catapult system (with a skid landing recovery), the Outlaw can also have a tricycle undercarriage installed for traditional runway take-off and landing. The Outlaw can even be launched from its catapult with the undercarriage in place thus allowing for runway landings on the return trip (such finesse can appreciated when managing an expensive sensor and optics payload). Control of the aircraft is either through preset GPS waypoints or by manual control with a ground-based operator. Operational ranges reach 60 nautical miles.

Outlaw's mission load is variable to help suit the customer (and mission) requirement. Its payload can house up to 40 lb of equipment and bays located near the center of the fuselage can be used for equipment or fuel stores as required.

Griffon Aerospace markets an entire line of UAV products including the similar-looking (though dimensionally larger) "Broadsword", the high performance "Outlaw G2" with its high-mounted wings and "Tee" style tail unit, and the twin-engine, twin-boom "Outlaw SeaHunter" tactical UAV.
Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw Specifications
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United States
Year: 2004
Status: Active, In-Service
Type: Target Drone / ISR / Trainer UAV
Manufacturer(s): Griffon Aerospace - USA
Production: 3,000
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 0
Width: 13.62 ft (4.15 m)
Empty Weight: 119 lb (54 kg)

Installed Power
1 x 3W model 150i two-cylinder piston engine in "pusher" configuration driving two-blade aft propeller unit.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 121 mph (195 kph; 105 kts)
Maximum Range: 137 mi (220 km; 119 nm)
Service Ceiling: 16,076 ft (4,900 m; 3.04 mi)

None. Maximum mission payload of 40lbs.

Operators List
United States

Series Model Variants
• MQM-170 "Outlaw" - Base Series Designation
• MQM-170A - U.S. military designation for initial systems
• Outlaw G2 - Updated platform with dimensionally larger airframe and reinforced wing structure; increased mission capabilities through greater payload, mission endurance, and agility.

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