QinetiQ’s Target Systems business signed a contract to supply 59 unmanned Banshee Whirlwind targets to Indonesia in May 2019.

The equipment has now been delivered and the customer training has been completed and signed off.

The Banshee is powered by QinetiQ’s rear-mounted rotary engine and provides flight profiles of over 100 km, reaching flight altitudes of over 7,000 metres, while a radar altimeter allows the target to achieve reliable sea skimming flight as low as five metres.

“The order is evidence that despite the growing demand for unmanned next-generation transonic and supersonic targets that QinetiQ is designing, developing and bringing to market for customers – for example, the Next-Generation Banshee (Banshee NG) launched last year at DSEI – earlier models from the Banshee family of targets are still in demand from many customers. QinetiQ’s portfolio of unmanned targets for sea, air and land, enable countries to train with moving unmanned targets as opposed to static targets, to be more prepared for adversary threats.”

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So, replace that parachute with explosives and this is a cheap 100km cruise missile? Or just use it as as a decoy missile to soak up defenses?

Anyone know how much these cost?

Nick Bowman

Andy, I think there is something to be said for using lots of cheap, relatively unsophisticated drones rather than a few super-advanced missile to attack a naval target. The most heavily defended ships in the World (Kirov class battlecruisers) only deploy a couple of hundred anti-aircraft missiles. Fire a hundred cheap, subsonic drone missiles at a Kirov and you will overwhelm its fire-control capabilities and massively deplete its anti-aircraft missile magazines. You may even sink the ship. The cost of such drones would be much less than a few zircon/perseus/brahmos-type advanced supersonic ASMs. Consider our new Type 31 frigates. Fire… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Reminds me of part of Red Storm Rising.


12 Sea Ceptors truly is a pathetic load out for a supposedly modern frigate! Why can’t they simply cross deck the existing 32 Sea Ceptor silos from the retiring Type 23s?


You probably wont need that many drones. This is because the ship’s primary air defence missiles are based on the S300 and SA15 systems. Both of these are command guidance missiles using a combination of semi-active RF homing and radio command. This means they require a separate tracking radar transmitting continuous wave to illuminate the target for the missiles to home in on. It also means the ship will have a limit on how many targets it can engage at any one time. The missiles must then be allocated to the target, unlike an active RF homing system like Sea… Read more »


Sexists, there’s not one woman in that picture of them all around the banshee!

Daniele Mandelli

The Liberal virtue signalling feminists would have a fit. How sexist having a photo with only men in it.