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Spirit AeroSystems Mosquito

Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UVAC) / Loyal Wingman [ 2027 ]

The Spirit AeroSystems Mosquito unmanned Loyal Wingman combat vehicle - intended for the British Royal Air Force - was cancelled in June of 2022.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/29/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Team Mosquito (originally Team Blackdawn) was formed to develop a weapons-delivering, stealth-minded Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) for possible adoption by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) through its "Lightweight, Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft" (LANCA), an initiative by the service provide its airmen with a "Loyal Wingman" - similar in project scope to the American-Australian Boeing Airpower Teaming System (ATS) and the American Kratos XQ-58 "Valkyrie". The intriguing air vehicle was to have been an autonomous extension of the pilot and his aircraft, capable of independently searching for and engaging aerial threats at-range while also being able to survive in contested airspace.

Established in 2015, the program was officially terminated in June of 2022 as less complicated, more affordable options were instead sought by the British Ministry of Defense.

For its part, the Mosquito - carrying the name of the famous British twin-engined attacker of World War 2, was to have involved Spirit AeroSystems Belfast of Northern Ireland in its construction. Flight evaluations were planned as soon as 2023 before project cancellation halted further development.

Team "Blackdawn" / "Mosquito" - made up of Bombardier Belfast (Spirit AeroSystems, Callen-Lenz, and Northrop Grumman UK - squared off against "Team Avenger" encompassing Boeing Defence UK and Blue Bear Systems Research. A 30 million pound contract was awarded to Team Mosquito in January 2021 to further its approach to a physical tech demonstrator for the project.

As shown in artist renderings, the drone was to have a chined fuselage with high-mounted, swept-back wing mainplanes capped by downturned tips, a dorsal-mounted intake for the air-breathing engine, and outward-canted V-style tailplane arrangement. It is assumed a wholly-retractable tricycle landing gear arrangement would have been used for ground-running purposes. An inherent stealth quality was part of the overall approach to the aircraft's design.

At any rate, the cancellation of the project has left the Mosquito as nothing more than a footnote in aviation history.©MilitaryFactory.com
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June 2022 - The Spirit Mosquito program has been formally cancelled by the British MoD.


Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Development Ended.

Spirit AeroSystems (Bombardier Belfast); Callen-Lenz - Ireland / Northrop Grumman - USA
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National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom (planned, cancelled)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Special-Mission: Airborne Early Warning (AEW)
Specially-equipped platform providing over-battlefield Command and Control (C2) capability for allied aerial elements.
Special-Mission: Electronic Warfare (EW)
Equipped to actively deny adversaries the ElectroMagnetic (EM) spectrum and protect said spectrum for allied forces.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Design features autonomous flight operations made possible through onboard artificial intelligence or pre-programming.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.

monoplane / shoulder-mounted / swept-back
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted at the upper section of the fuselage, generally at the imaginary line intersecting the pilot's shoulders.
The planform features wing sweep back along the leading edges of the mainplane, promoting higher operating speeds.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Spirit AeroSystems Mosquito production variant)
Installed: 1 x Afterburning turbofan of unknown make, model, and thrust output.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Spirit AeroSystems Mosquito production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
Assumed internal weapons bay for the carrying / delivery of air-to-air missiles and rockets.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Mosquito - Project Name.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Spirit AeroSystems Mosquito
Official image released to the public by the British Ministry of Defense.

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