Q-21 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - SmallEdit

The Q-21 model of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is one of the most widespread and widely used in the



Australian Defence Force. It is used by many elements and units of the Royal Australian Navy, the RAN Marine Corps and the Australian Army. It fits into the UAV category known as Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - Small or TUAV-S. The current advanced model of the Q-21 is the RQ-21U model.

Launched from a rail system, the system can be mounted on a mobile trailer, a small waterborne vessel or just about anywhere. The retrieval system is known as a "skyhook" and consists of special vertical mast with a retrival-entrapment system.

The AQ-21V is a further development, with folding wings launched from either aircraft or submarines and has a terminal warhead.

RQ-21U Edit


RQ-21 Sensor PayloadsEdit




Often referred to as "suicide drones" or "killer drones" this development of the Q-21 has a "one way" mission. Essentially combining the abilities of surveillance and reconaissance of a regular Q-21 with that of a loitering tactical attack munition. With long endurance the AQ-21V is particularly suited to the loitering attck mission.


The air launched variant can be launched from underwing pylons or a special cargo aircraft launchers. The wings unfold upon launch and a small parachute takes the dronme to its correct speed and operating height, where the engine kicks in and the parachute is jettisoned.


The submarine launchedversion has several different launch canisters allowing it to be launched from different submarine torpedoe/missile tubes. The air-pressure launched container shoots to the surface where the AQ-21 is ejected, the wings fold out and the engine kicks in. A special floating aerial and cable connection allows the submarine to remain submerged. The submarine can hand of control to suitably equipped aircraft or ground console.